U.S. regulators should consider whether radio and television services carried by cable and satellite must adhere to indecency standards, Federal Communications Commissioner Kevin Martin said on Wednesday.No. No they shouldn't. I pay a ridiculous amount of money every month so I can get all the smut, cursing, violence and vulgar entertainment I want. I choose those station. They don't magically appear on my television unless I specifically call my cable company and say "Give me my Cinemax!" I control my own airwaves, because I pay for that right. I certainly don't think it would be fair for me to fork over $88 every month just so I can have my movie choices hindered by someone else's idea of indecency. This is about choice and freedom. No one is making you subscribe to the Playboy Channel. Even with basic cable, you get a remote that allows you to block certain channels. If you have a television in your kids' rooms, block the channels you find offensive. If you don't trust that the magic buttons on the remote will keep your kids from watching some ultra violent movie, then don't allow cable into your home in the first place. It's a choice. You choose to bring those movies and programs into your home. While I do believe that cable companies should offer more freedom with their packages, i.e., the ability to pick and choose your channels rather than subscribe to a pre-made package - my Spidey-sense is still tingling about this. Where does it stop? When does the FCC come to the realization that I do not need them to babysit me? Neither cable tv nor satellite radio are given away are accesible for free to anyone who wants them. When you sign up for either, you sign up for a certain amount of entertainment that you may find offensive. Don't like it? Don't subscribe. But don't go around making rules and regulations as if you know what's good for me. If I thought nudity and the word "mother fucker" and bloody knife fights were offensive, I wouldn't be getting 200 channels of blessed digital cable in my home. And I wouldn't be purchasing satellite radio for my car. The FCC must stop acting as if they were everyone's parents. Where does the line get drawn? Whose standard of decency to we use to curtail what is seen on pay television? What the hell happened to deciding for ourselves what kind of entertainment is seen or heard in the privacy of our own homes? I thought a conservative government meant less laws, not more. Step up and repudiate this idea, then. I'm just waiting for the day when some government regulation installs a curse jar in my house and comes to collect my Quarters of Indecency every month. Fuck that.
Now that opponents and proponents of gay marriage are all riled about the FMA its time to talk about the true impact of including a definition of marriage in the Constitution. The potential impact of inclusion of the FMA will effect every American straight or gay because the FMA is not about gay marriage, it is a dangerous Trojan Horse that could completely redefine the powers of the federal government. As an attorney who is researching this issue, let me explain to the best of my ability, why I haven’t been sleeping well since Tuesday. Under the Constitution of the United States there is no express right to privacy, rather this right to be free from excessive government interference in our personal lives has arisen from Supreme Court precedent that cites the lack of regulation of intimate relationships and the protections of the bill of rights as the basis for an inference of the right to privacy. The right to privacy, according the Supreme Court is found in the penumbras and emanations of these two factors. A shadow of a right, very delicate and now threatened. By including a provision regulating the most intimate of relationships into the Constitution, the traditional analysis that the court has used to limit government power will be fundamentally changed and the right to privacy, if it is not destroyed completely, will be severely curtailed. As a result, decisions like Roe v. Wade, (Abortion), Griswold v. Connecticut (Birth Control), Lawrence v. Texas (Private Sexual Acts), will all be fair game for re-analysis under this new jurisprudential regime as the Constitutional foundation for those decisions will have been altered. A brilliant strategy really, with one amendment the religious right could wipe out access to birth control, abortion, and even non-procreative sex (as Senator Santorum so eagerly wants to do). This debate isn’t only about federalism, it’s about the reversal of two hundred years of liberal democracy that respects individuals. So why isn’t anyone talking about this aspect of it?The floor is open.
But if you know me, and consider yourself my friend, and appreciate me as a person, and you still vote for George W. Bush this coming November, then let me tell you something right now: Don't ever let me know that you did. Because I will never speak to you again.Further down, he says, on the same subject:
then I am sorry, but I do not ever want to see your face or hear your voice in my presence. It's a done deal. My apologies if that offends anyone, but guess what? If that's you, you've been offending me for a long, long time. And I'm just a little bit angry about what you would allow to be done to me, and to our country.I'm stunned. Completely stunned. You are asking me to consider one issue and one issue only in the coming election, yet you are taking me to task for doing the same. Yes, I believe in gay rights. I believe they should be allowed to marry. And I don't think there's a chance in hell that Bush's proposed amendment to the consitution will pass. But that's not enough. It's not enough for my gay friend to know that I support him and once loved him like a brother. I now have to vote like him. A vote for Bush is not a vote against you, Chris. It doesn't mean I think less of you. It just means that I've weighed my options and I took into account my own life, my own situation, my family, concerns and Bush turned out to be the best candidate for me. It's not like Kerry is going to press for the right for gays to marry, either. So what of the people who vote for him? Will you still talk to them even though he doesn't believe in your cause? In his next post he says:
All I can say to those who disagree with me on this issue is, I'm sorry we've reached this place. I'm sorry the world's gotten so fucked -- ignore the reasons why -- that people who all believe in liberty have to be torn apart by which ones to protect first: I'm sorry that the assault on our freedoms is so fierce, and comes from so many assailants, that we have to fight each other before we can get permission to fight back. Shit's fucked up and I have to believe that I'm doing what I can to make it better. I guess you do too, but at the end of the fight, if it ever comes, I want you to sit down and take stock of what you have, and then think about what your neighbor still has, and ask yourself: Was it worth it?I believe the same things as you, Chris. I believe that what I'm doing is right for the long term. I could ask the same question about you. And like I said yesterday, I cannot go into the voting booth and take into consideration you and my neighbor and myself and make the right choice for all of us. It's impossible. So what do I do? Make the choice that 's right for you? Isn't knowing that I support your cause enough to keep a friendship going, or do I have to actually march in your footsteps and do all the things you do in order to regain your acceptance? I can't do that. But I can be really, really sad that it's come to this. I've lost friends over politics before. I've had blog fights and I've had people delink me and call me terrible things. But nothing hurts as much as a friend telling you that, because you are putting your beliefs and needs ahead of his when voting, that he no longer cares about your existence. I'm not going to defend my choice any longer. I'm not going to explain once more why I've made that choice. I don't know why I even felt like I owed anyone an explanation to begin with. Yes, I am incredibly pissed at George Bush for the action he has taken in regards to gay marriage. It's one issue that he's really gone opposite from me on. So you want me to vote for Kerry instead? I don't agree with Kerry on anything. Sure, he's not going to try to change the constitution. But everything else about him drives me mad. I'm torn apart here, trying to figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing in order to make this world a better place, a safer place; in order to make my children's future bright and free of terrorism; in order to make wars stop and the economy rise and inflation go down and every single child in the world have food and clothing and proper schooling and hey, let's cure cancer, eliminate natural disasters and draw rainbows across the sky while we're at it. There is no one - no one candidate - who can fulfill all your wishes. So why would you expect me to not vote for the candidate who at least fulfills a good portion of mine? I'm angry and upset to the point of being nauseous. I'm being attacked on from an incredible amount of people from all sides on this issue. I'm confused, angry, hurt, most likely incoherent and not making much sense and just...livid. I've managed to keep a lot of friends who are so liberal they make Indymedia look like NewsMax. I manage to still be friends with people who are anti-war, who poke fun at my politics or march against the things I stand for - and vote against them, too. I've accepted that basic fact that everyone is different. If I stopped talking to people who have values opposite mine, I would be a very lonely person. This is going to eat at me all day. I've encountered three people in the last half hour who come off as if they would put a knife in my heart and spit in the wound if they met me. Maybe I'll lose all my gay friends, which are, admittedly, a big portion of my friends. Maybe I'll eventually lose every friend I have who is liberal or voting for Kerry or anti-war. But the one thing I will never lose is my sense of self. I am not going to fold up my Bush tent because someone has used a friendship to bully me into it. Never.
Clear Channel Radio has suspended the broadcast of Viacom's Howard Stern show, consistent with its Responsible Broadcasting Initiative announced earlier today. After assessing the content of yesterday's Howard Stern show, Clear Channel worked with local market managers to take swift and decisive action. "Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content and Howard Stern's show blew right through it," said John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio.Protecting their listeners? If they were listening to the Stern show, they weren't expecting anything less than vulgar. He's been doing this how many years? And Clear Channel is just now getting around to editing/censoring him? Janet and Justin have no idea what they have brought upon the entertainment industry. I expect Jeff to have something to say about this. Update/Clarification: Editing and censoring were the wrong words to use. But that's besides the point. I'm not really all that strung out over Stern's predicament; I just think it's kind of funny that he's been doing this kind of thing for years and Clear Channel just now - in the wake of Janet's boobie exposure - decides he should be taken off the air. It's a knee-jerk reaction on CC's part - Stern surely is a ratings boon for most of their stations and a money maker - and in the long run it's only going to get more people listening to Stern on the stations on which he is still airing. I'm not much of a Stern fan (I certainly used to be, back in the early days), I prefer to listen to Curtis and Kuby or music on my ride to work. I just believe that this means absolutely nothing to Stern and company except more fodder for his show, less listeners for Clear Channel and another reason to get satellite radio.
I am totally at a loss with this "gay marriage" business. Can someone please tell me (A) Which civil right homosexuals citizens currently do not have, and (B) Which civil right they currently have, that they will no longer have if the President's FMA proposal is enacted? Thank you. Brief answers only, please.It's not about a specific civil right, you simpleton. That's my brief answer. The long answer is this - It's about humanity. That sounds short, but it's not. It involves so many things, including compassion, love, fairness, empathy and dignity. It's about treating every man and woman as equal, as members of the human race, not members of some sideshow in the circus. If the constitution is amended, it should be done in plain, truthful language: All man are created equal but are not treated as such. We hereby deny gay people the right to have a legal union of love, care and respect. We, the people, hereby decree that gay people should be stigmatized and treated as a lower form of humanity; a lower form that will not be granted the right to legally come together as one in matrimony. Your religion despises homosexuality? Great. Make an amendment to your church's constitution that your clergy won't marry gays. But where do you come off asking that all of America should act in the same accordance with your church? Oh yes, marriage is a sacrament that stems from religions. Fine. Then let the church keep the word marriage and let there be a secular term - say, union. Ah, but that wouldn't matter. Because there would be some other grounds on which you would find the idea of two men who you don't even know joining together in a legal ceremony. Don't tell me it's about religion. Because deep down, it's about intolerance and bigotry. Those who wish to deny gay people their right to happiness - and for some, happiness will come with marriage and the sense of completion that marriage brings - are small minded. The proposed amendment is about a word. A single word. The result is as devastating as if it were a hundred words painted on someone's heart with a twisting knife. Update: Like Alex Knapp, I'm wondering if Bush doesn't have better things to do than mess with the constitution. We're at war with Iraq, Iran is a bomb waiting to explode, and al Qaeda is still making threats. If Bush thinks that gay marriage is an issue which will bring his voters together, he's dead wrong. He forgot about the thousands of September 11th voters out there who think the number one priority in this country is winning the war on terror, not amending an historical document to fit the wants of the president's conservative base.
Replicas of the nails used to hang Jesus on the cross have become the red-hot official merchandise linked to Mel Gibson's controversial new movie, "The Passion of the Christ." Pendants made from the pewter, 2 1/2-inch nails - selling for $16.99 - all but flew out of the Christian Publications Bookstore on West 43rd Street as soon as they were put on display. Hundreds of stores across the country will be selling licensed items tied to the movie, a graphically violent depiction of the last 12 hours of Christ's life, which opens next week on Ash Wednesday. The souvenirs include a book, pins, key chains, coffee mugs and T-shirts.Ok, I know that movies make a lot of their money off of merchandise, but I keep having thoughts of Jesus cleaning out the temple and something just doesn't sit right with me about all this merchandising. I never thought the crucifix was such a great symbol for a religion, anyhow. As a child it frightened me, and not in the way my Catechism teachers intended for it to frighten me. Rather than feeling horror at the way Jesus died and giving thanks to him for getting nailed to the cross so I can be washed of my sins, it just repulsed me. Blood, thorns, suffering, pain....it didn't exactly make me embrace my religion. So now you can wear a replica of the nails that they drove through Christ's limbs around your neck. I'm going to hold onto my money and wait for the McDonald's promotion. Free Station of the Cross with every Happy Meal! Collect all fourteen! This week, it's Jesus Falls For the Second Time! I'm not parodying the death of Jesus, so stop writing the nasty email. I'm just finding the whole merchandise tie-in thing incredibly distasteful. A book, a poster, even a key chain...fine. Necklace nails and coffee mugs? Whore. I'm sticking to Jesus Christ, Superstar, thanks.
ri·val n. One who attempts to equal or surpass another, or who pursues the same object as another; a competitor. One that equals or almost equals another in a particular respect.There is nothing that quite brings out our venom and sense of loyalty than a good rivalry. Charlie Brown v. Lucy. Optimus Prime v. Megatron. Carnivores v. PETA. Sports rivalries are on a whole other level, though. They go above and beyond the usual bumper sticker slogans and name calling. Sports rivalries can split families apart, doom marriages to failure and make parents disown their children. The Yankees and Red Sox have taken their notorious rivalry to new levels, thanks to their respective owners. John Henry, Red Sox owner: "We have a spending limit and the Yankees apparently don't. Baseball doesn't have an answer for the Yankees. Revenue sharing can only accomplish so much. At some point it becomes confiscation. It has not and it will not solve what is a very obvious problem." Yankees owner Steinbrenner:"We understand John Henry must be embarrassed, frustrated, and disappointed by his failure in this transaction," Steinbrenner said in a prepared statement. "Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston." Ouch. And this is all before spring training has even started. It's going to be one of those years when extra security will be present during Sox/Yankee games. It will become more than a baseball battle - it will be a battle between cities, Boston v. New York, the Big Apple v. Bean Town. Apples beat beans every time. Speaking as one who loves a nasty rivalry, the Sox/Yankees war is just a blip on the radar compared to other sports wars I've been involved in. My hatred for the Mets and most of their fans goes deeper and wider than any disdain I have for Boston baseball or its fans. If the Sox were to win the series, I would feel pain for a day or two and move on. But the Mets...they can never, ever win the World Series. Ever. I would sell my soul to Satan to make sure that never happened. Yes, we take it to an extreme. It's a bitter, nasty rivalry. You cannot enter my home wearing anything with the Mets logo on it. My daughter feels jinxed every time she sees the Mets symbol and goes through a complicated ritual of "de-cootiezing" herself when she does. My son barely acknowledges the team from Queens exists. And every single dinner table argument I have with my father has revolved around the Mets and Yankees. We taunt, we tease, we torture. And should anyone ever mention the '86 Mets around me, they will feel the force of the flying fist of rage. Oh, you think that's bad? You should have been around town in the early to mid 80's when the Islander /Ranger rivalry was so intense that roving gangs of Ranger fans used to challenge Island fan club members to gang fights in dark alleys. I swear, that really happened. I think the Hanson brothers were there, too. Seriously, it was a dangerous rivalry. So many fights would break out at games between the two teams that people stopped bringing their young children to those games. It was no better on the ice, where hundreds of penalty minutes were handed out each game, along with game misconducts and suspensions. We haven't had a good, intense rivalry in a while. The Rangers and Islanders both suck, so the deep desire to kill each other has waned. The Mets pretty much suck as well and it's only because of my father's love for that lame team that I've been able to keep that competition alive and kicking. But this year, oh this year is going to be fantastic. I'm already honing my rhyming skills so I can come up with some first rate Red Sox taunts. I've got my Big Book of Baseball Insults all highlighted and my voodoo dolls ready for those pins. Rivalries always stay with you - some of them just fade away to memories. I'll always hate Syracuse basketball, the Dallas Cowboys and Suge Knight. And some of them just get stronger as the years go on and the vemom ferments. This will be the greatest year of the Sox/Yankees rivalry. It will see the dawn of a new day in this east coast crisis, one that will make the days of Bucky Dent seem like an episode of Full House. Game on.
Last week or so I wrote about going through all my boxes of papers and crap while trying to pack up our house for the move. If you remember, I found some high school poetry of mine. And I promised some people that I would post them.
You get one for starters. If you don't make fun of me too harshly, I may post the others.
I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote this. It's called Family Secrets, but as far as I can remember my family never had a secret that would cause me to write these words down. I do remember writing it, though. The Olivetti was on a real school desk (the old wooden kind with the names scratched into the dark wood - I don't remember where we got it from), and the desk was right in front of my bedroom window, which looked out into the front yard. It was snowing and the Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing was on the radio, which was most likely tuned to WNEW 102.7. The song and the band were fairly new, which would place the writing of this poem in winter, 1978, making me 16 years old.
What once escaped you
Now is tangled inside
You found the bones
We all tried to hide
A braided rug
of secrets and shame
how did it find you?
who told it your name?
you know there's danger
in being weak
but you can't be accused
if you do not speak
you feign worry and sadness
and squeeze out some tears
while ballads play softly
in only your ears
don't ignore it
it won't run away
like the rain it comes back
if you knew all this time
you would still be a fool
enforcing your own
dark golden rule
pretend there's no rage
pretend you don't care
prove your ignorance
of the whole affair
it's not your guilt
to carry around
and it's not your troubles
that you found
let's put all those burdens
where they belong
but whose shoulders
could be that strong?
he sits far away
while we all feel his guilt
the wall that he built
when the rug is unravelled
we'll all get a string
to choke ourselves with
to strangle this thing
This was so horrible to relive.
To: All Disney Programming Execs From: Sir Eisner Re: Placement of Muppet Characters Guys, Now that we bought this pile of fur, we need to find something to do with it. I really just bought the Muppets to scare off Comcast. I heard the CEO is afraid of puppets. Anyhow, we got 'em, so let's use 'em. We'll spread them out among all of our holdings; ABC, Mirimax, ESPN - the whole show. Here are some of my ideas. I welcome changes and suggestion. Hah. Fooled you. No I don't. What I say goes, so get busy. Animal Three words: Pulp Fiction sequel. Nobody really likes Travolta. Sam the Eagle - He's interchangeable with Sam Donaldson. Really, have you noticed how much they look alike? Donaldson can take a vacation or whatever he calls it when he checks into the mental health ward. Waldorf & Statler - They'll do the red carpet show at the Academy Awards. You think Triumph is funny? Wait 'til you get a load of these guys. Canada will think they got off lucky. Sure, we'll make some enemies, but isn't that what the Disney Company is all about? Alienating people? Rizzo - Say hello to the new starting center for the Anahiem Mighty Ducks. Kermit - Welcome Kermie to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. Smarter than Dennis Miller and less annoying than John Madden. Piggy - Bachelorette, anyone? And we'll use celebrities as the bachelors. Someone see what Adam Baldwin is up to. I'm sure he could use the money. Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem - House band for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Not only is Dr. Teeth better lookinig than Kimmel, he's got more personality in his felt mustache than Kimmel has in his whole body. And I bet that felt mustache has seen more action, too. While we're at it, let's just fire Kimmel and give the whole show over to Dr. Teeth and Animal. These puppets might be useful for something after all. Fozzie - The new Iron Chef, live from China: Wokka Wokka Wokka! (Here I am, Fozzie Bear, to cook you steaks both well and rare!)Meanwhile, PETA has released a statement condeming the selling of the muppets, saying, "The traffickign of animals for fun and profit is reprehensible. We demand that Piggy and Kermit be allowed to seek employment wherever they wish, instead of being treated like property." To which Piggy replied, "Kiss my fatty ass, PETA. I'm going to marry Adam Baldwin."
The Yankees had to add value to the contract for the union to approve it, and they did so in two ways: They guaranteed Rodriguez a suite on the road, a perk the Yankees almost never allow, and gave Rodriguez permission to link his Web site to the Yankees' team site.Found here [via DJ] where one commenter said: ...[O]n a related note- part of the reason the Red Sox weren't able to sign Rodriguez was due to the fact that they refused to allow him to use their brand (jersey) in his endorsements deals... See my previous post about A-Rod. Things like this is what I was talking about. While the deal made me all smiles for about 24 hours, it's starting to sink in now and, minus the gloating factor, I'm not liking it. I'm all about a happy clubhouse and megalomaniac divas who view baseball as a way to market themselves so they can retire at an early age surrounded by thousand dollar bills do not make for happy clubhouses. Yea, I live in a fantasy world where athletes play sports because they love the sport they play.
We are meeting, moreover, in a city that has itself been forced to learn how to conquer terror. And because we are gathered very close to ground zero, we should of course begin our deliberations with a moment of respect and remembrance for those who died on 9/11 and for those who have been bereaved. Terrorism, after all, is the ultimate misuse of fear for political ends. Indeed, its specific goal is to distort the political reality of a nation by creating fear in the general population that is hugely disproportionate to the actual danger the terrorists are capable of posing. That is one of the reasons it was so troubling last week when the widely respected arms expert David Kay concluded a lengthy and extensive investigation in Iraq for the Bush administration with these words: "We were all wrong." The real meaning of Kay's devastating verdict is that for more than two years, President Bush and his administration have been distorting America's political reality by force-feeding the American people a grossly exaggerated fear of Iraq that was hugely disproportionate to the actual danger posed by Iraq. How could that happen? Could it possibly have been intentional?Let's put aside for the moment that I don't think the danger posed by Iraq was exaggerated at all. Let's revisit the sentences a few paragraphs above that: Terrorism, after all, is the ultimate misuse of fear for political ends. Indeed, its specific goal is to distort the political reality of a nation by creating fear in the general population that is hugely disproportionate to the actual danger the terrorists are capable of posing. So, the terrorists are not capable of blowing up buildings and killing thousands of innocent people in one swoop? They're not capable of flying planes into government buildings? Disproportionate? They already did those things! How could he say they are not capable of them when they already happened? Pardon me for being amazed at the set of balls on Gore, but I'm of the mind that he - and his entire group of anti-Bush crusaders - are distorting the political reality of this country by downplaying the danger that terrorists are capable of posing. And, like Jeff Jarvis says, they are creating more fear than anyone else. Let's reword that paragraph: Terrorism, after all, is the ultimate misuse of fear for political ends. Indeed, its specific goal is to distort the political reality of a nation by creating fear in the general population that is hugely disproportionate to the actual danger the current administration is capable of posing. If you vote for Bush, the world will end! All our money will disappear, we will be poor and famished and the sun will be blotted from the sky. We will go to war with every single nation on earth and our homeland security is so inept that the war on terrorism is failing and we are in danger of..... Hold on. The mantra of the Gore Bunch is: the Bush administration is creating a fear of future terrorism that does not exist, yet they are not doing enough about the future possible terrorist attacks on this country. And, while you're at it, you should fear Bush, who is actually the big, bad wolf in disguise, fear him with every fiber of your being because if you don't fear him and you vote for him, the country will be ruled by....fear. That's like having your kid tell you he's afraid of the monster in his closet and he needs a bedtime story, so you read him The Boy Who Was Eaten by the Monster in his Closet. I am afraid. I am afraid of terrorism and I welcome whatever Bush has done to combat it, even if some of those tactics infringe a bit on my freedoms. I'll wait an extra hour or two at the airport if it means that we are being more careful about what people can bring on planes. I'm afraid of suicide bombers and countries with nuclear capabilities. I'm afraid of radical muslim factions and rebellious groups hell bent on destroying my freedoms. Sure, I was afraid of some of those things pre-9/11, but I am more scared now than before. Is that because of Bush? No. It's because the threat really exists. I don't need the president to tell me that Saddam was a danger to society. I don't need a State of the Union speech to help me learn that suicide bombers exist. Ask the people whose relatives died in Bali if they think the situation is overrated. Bush did not put this fear into me. My fear goes back to the cold war, back to the days when the sirens would sound I had to crouch under my school desk and hope it was just a drill. My fear goes back to the Munich Olympics, to hijacked planes and to hostages held in Tehran; to the first WTC bombing, to the USS Cole. And my fear is not just of foreign enemies striking at us. I learned many years ago that the biggest perpetrators of mind-terror in the United States are those that oppose fighting terrorism with force. There are those, like Al Gore, who would rather see us downplay the dangers of our enemies. They tell you not to be afraid of those groups of "militants" and "insurgents," but to be afraid of our own leaders. That is dangerous ground to be walking. Rather than face the reality of the political world, they would have us believe that Bush purposely created this whole fear of terrorism thing as a way to control us, to prod us into voting for him because he's hard on terror. That school of thought is more dangerous to our general well being as a nation than is any orange alert. Who are the real fear-mongers here? To quote Mr. Gore, Terrorism, after all, is the ultimate misuse of fear for political ends. Welcome to the new breed of terrorists, then: Kerry, Dean and all the others who run for office on the platform that we should fear our current president, fear the current war on terror, go running out into the streets with your torches and meat cleavers and chase the big, bad wolf out of town! Too bad that guy they're chasing is the only thing standing between us and the real terrorists.
The brainchild of film-fanatic Anastasia Fite, Movieoke is just what it sounds like: a chance for those brave enough to take over from Robert De Niro in his "You talkin' to me?" monologue in "Taxi Driver," or to strut their stuff alongside Ben Stiller in "Zoolander." ... Guests select a specific scene from a movie that is then projected onto a big screen, while a monitor in front of them shows the scene along with subtitled dialogue.My life, with a movie screen. I know of many people who are afflicted with the same sickness as me; one that causes you to break out a movie quote for every occasion. Now we can act out whole scenes! So, in the spirit of weekend fluff posting, I ask the question: If you were going to act out a scene from any movie, what movie/scene would it be and which part would you play?
He left home and got a house across town. But sometimes on dark nights the mother got into her car and drove across town. If all the lights in her son's house were out, she opened his bedroom window, crawled across the floor, and looked up over the side of his bed. If that great big man was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.I'm going to get into my care on dark nights and drive across town as well. And if all the lights are out, I'm going to open a window, or pick a lock or do whatever I have to do to get in the house. First, my son's house. I will reach into my bag of ammunition and pull out the Legos and small action figures. I will spread them across his bedroom floor so that when he gets up, he will step on them, causing much pain. That's for all the Legos I stepped on, buddy boy. Then I will get myself a glass of orange juice. I'll spill a few drops of juice on the kitchen floor, just enough to make it sticky. Then I'll attempt to wipe it up with one of his clean socks. I'll go in his bathroom and leave a wet towel on the floor. I"ll finish off his toilet paper and not replace it. Then, for the coup de grâce, I will wait until 6am (this will be a Saturday morning) and I will plug in his electric guitar and start playing some four chord song over and over and over again. I'll sneak out the window before he can see me. Oh, he'll figure it out. And he'll know. And he will spend each night wondering if I will be back for more revenge. My revenge on the daughter will be much simpler. I am going to make a deal with Satan to ensure that my she ends up with a daughter exactly like her. Then I will drive across town every evening and sit in her living room and laugh and laugh and laugh at the exruciating mental torture her teenage daughter is putting her through. Hey, it works for my mother.
The late Dr. Robert Atkins is being smeared for his alleged obesity at the time of his death, by a phony doctors organization that has been exposed as a front group for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and has been censured by the American Medical Association (AMA). The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has taken in over $1 million from PETA and the animal rights movement. PCRM and PETA also share office space, board members, and staff.It's about the animals, stupid! This sham of an organization does not have your health interests in mind at all. In fact, the only interest they have is that of the cows and chickens and other furry little creatures that serve as nourishment for many of us. You know, they have a right to bitch about people being carnivorous. It's a free country. But don't lie to us. Don't try to pull the (aww look at the delicious little) lamb's wool over our eyes. Just come out and say it. Here, I'll even write the statement for PETA:
The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals is glad that Mr. Atkins is dead and we are going to exploit his death for all it's worthy by claiming it was his diet and his diet alone that killed him. Not the ice he slipped on. Not his heart disease. Nope, it was eating all those animals that did him in. We've been warning you for years that if the cholesterol don't kill you, the karma will. That's what you get when you eat chicken, beef and pork. You die. You die and you go to hell!Ahh, I can hardly wait for the next PETA Hates Children escapade. They will probably stand in front of kindergartens and hold up photos of Dr. Atkins, scrawled with messages like God Hates Carnivores! or Your Daddy's Diet Causes Deaths! So what else is this phony physicians group up to?
Yesterday the PETA-funded group told selected media that it has written the 50 biggest U.S. school districts, asking them to "replace beef and other meaty items" with vegetarian cafeteria meals as a response to the recent news about mad cow disease.Right. Mad cow disease. Uh huh. Exploit the news and use the fear to bring your agenda to a school near you. The most telling statement about this group of propaganda artists posing as caring physicians: "The American Medical Association calls them "potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans." And the Smoking Gun is there.
"We realize there's a lot of debate out there," says [LucasFilm VP Jim] Ward. "But this is not a democracy. We love our fans, but this is about art and filmmaking. [George] has decided that the sole version he wants available is this one."What garbage. Lucas once again is the center of his own universe. Nevermind the fans. Nevermind that the revised Greedo scene undermines any of Solo's character development. Art? Filmmaking? Dude, you threw those things out the window when you meddled with the story in the first place. Of course I'll buy it. I'm a sucker like that. But here's my prediction: Lucas will eventually release the original versions. But they will only come in a special boxset that includes the three recent bastard SW movies, forcing you to spend money on the JarJar crapfests if you want to see Han shoot first. And that's where I will stop spending my money. You have to draw the line somewhere. Maybe.
[The blogosphere exit poll will stay up today (see here) - if you haven't voted you have until about 8m tonight to do so.]
Fourth grade, circa 1972. I fit all the criteria of being one of those kids. I had no real friends to speak of. My nose was always buried in a book. My mother dressed me funny. So it was no surprise that every February, I would be unofficially crowned Least Likely to Get A Valentine. You get used to these things after a while, so it didn't phase me as much as my tormenters hoped it would.
Remember, this is back in the day when self-esteem issues had yet to seep their way into the school curriculum. We still played dodge ball and called the Russian kid a commie (Turns out he wasn't really Russian, he was Polish). So, when Valentine's Day rolled around, there were no guidelines sent home by the school administrators imploring parents to have their children hand out a card to everyone in the class or noone. It was every outcast for himself.
I had a plan, though. I was going to take a stand for myself that year. I wasn't going to give out cards.
See, I learned my lesson in third grade. That year, it became painfully obvious that no one wanted a card from me. I found at least five of my carefully decorated valentines in the garbage on the way out of the classroom that day. Two of them weren't even opened. As is my standard operating procedure, I was more pissed off than upset.
Fourth grade would not be the same, I vowed to myself. I remembered the third grade incident clearly, so I took the pre-packaged cards my mother had made me fill out for my classmates and threw them in a garbage can on my way to school. I'll show them. They may be able to make fun of me for getting no cards, but I'll be dammed if I'm going to let them ridicule me for asking my sworn enemies to be my Valentine!
I spent the morning feel smug and superior to the rest of the kids. I had finally figured out a way to show them I didn't care about them. Certainly not enough to hand out some crappy Hallmark heart with a goofy sentiment and sparkles that got all over your dress.
I waited patiently for the moment of truth. We made mailboxes out of construction paper and cardboard and put them on our desks. We were supposed to decorate them for the holiday. Susan and Patricia drew hearts and flowers on theirs. I took a black crayon and drew a stick figure on fire. Well, that's what it was supposed to be. The teacher thought it was some kind of morse code.
Finally, the time arrived. Mrs. M. instructed everyone to take out their valentines, walk around the class, and deposit the cards in the proper mailboxes. Everyone scurried about. I sat at my desk. Mrs. M. kept looking at me, surely wondering why I wasn't getting up. I couldn't wait for her to come over and ask me. I'd finally get my say. Me, the girl known as "Mousy" because she very rarely spoke, would let go with a torrent of anger and pain that had been building up since Kindergarten. I am not giving out any Valentine cards because no one ever gives them to me and I think that's pretty rotten. So the hell with you all! I am not going to give you the chance to humiliate me by throwing my cards in the garbage pail! Mwahahahahah! Well, that's what I had planned on saying.
And then it happened. I learned the meaning of irony. For, one by one, the kids in the class came over to my crude mailbox and deposited Valentine cards. Susan. Cynthia. Ray. All the cool kids and the not so cool kids. Every single one of them. I had been tricked by fate!
Was I pleased at this turn of events? Did I feel shame for what I had done? Embarassed? Not at all. I was pissed. Obviously, Mrs. M. had instructed them to give me cards. Not only did Mrs. M's efforts ruin my planned soliloquy, but it further alienated me from my classmates and gave them new fodder for their rule against me.
They say what does not kill you makes you stronger. Tis true. Not only stronger, but wiser and a hell of a lot more evil.
Two months later, I had to bring in an Italian dessert for our Heritage Pride day. My grandmother helped me bake cookies that looked something like this. After taking them from my grandmother's house, I made a quick stop at my neighbor's gate. I took the plastic wrap off the tray of cookies and held the platter out for Thumper the German Shepherd. He licked those cookies good. I put the cover back on the tray and brought the cookies to school the next day, gladly sharing with my classmates.
Hey, it's not the ultimate revenge, but it was pretty clever - and satisfying - for a fourth grader.
Later, as we got into a cab, we said nothing. It was odd to go from such sound to such silence. But we were both pondering. It wasn't that any individual moment during the evening was so stunningly bizarre. (Mr. Brando, for instance, was only as bizarre as Brando is.) It was that taken as a whole the night yielded an unmistakable sense of decay and disorder. "I feel like we just witnessed the end of our culture," I said. "We are," he said. "It's a freak show now. The whole thing, it's just a freak show." Two-and-a-half days later came 9/11 and the ending of a world. When my friend and I talked again he said, "Remember that night? You could see it coming then."I had to read that several times to make sure I wasn't missing something. But no, there it is in black and white. You could see it coming then. As if somehow, the antics of Michael Jackson and his Cirucs of the Fading Stars somehow foretold the coming of a terrorist attack on the United States.
Why am I treating you to a bad memory? Because I am disturbed about our culture and can't stop thinking about it. I'm embarrassed by our culture too, and made anxious by it. Aren't you?Not particularly. Look at Britian. The covers of their newspapers are often decorated with the exposed breasts of young women. Have you ever seen a television show that originates from anywhere south of the American border? They show more skin in one episode than you see in a month of Playboy Channel movies. Embarassed? Maybe. Justin Timberlake winning a grammy over Warren Zevon; a movie glorifying cheating on the SATs; Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake and The Man Show, America's Funniest Videos - I find them all embarassing representations of American culture. But what do I know? I think South Park and Beavis and Butthead are pure comedy genius. But anxious? No. Not at all. I don't think some radical Muslim group is sitting in their hideout right now watching TiVo'd copies of Sex in the City and listening to Britney Spears and thinking - those Americans must die! After all, these are people that willingly die so they can screw 72 imaginary virgins. I think Britney would give them wet dreams, not be the poster girl for American Jihad, Inc.
For a while after 9/11 we seemed to sober up. There seemed a new seriousness. It wasn't heavy and somber, there was a lot of humor and wit, but we were perhaps a little chastened, a little more mature. Sept. 11 was such a shock to the national system that after it the culture's long slide into narcissistic netherworlds seemed momentarily stopped, or at least slowed. But it's picked up againNoonan then writes about discovering that Janet and Justing did a little touchy-feely dance during the Superbowl halftime show. Oh no, I thought. We're back to the pre-9/11 freak show. Has she been under a rock for the past three years? American pop culture is one big freak show and the days since 9/11 have not watered the freakishness down at all. There are women marrying strangers on national television. Michael Jackson dances on the hood of a car after his arraignment on child molestation charges. Stores are selling thongs for eleven year old girls. The J&J show has nothing to do with 9/11. The future of terrorism in this country has nothig to do with wardrobe malfunctions.
This was the Super Bowl, after all, a football game in early-evening prime time with children watching, and nice people who hadn't bought into the concept of seeing a sex show.Yep. Those cheerleaders the cameras train on are all wearing turtlenecks and chastity belts. And halftime shows are always about morality and fully clothed performers.
This might be a frog-in-the-water moment. You remember: You put a frog in a nice cool pot of water, and he's happy and swims around. But if you put a flame underneath the pot and slowly raise it, chances are he'll boil to death. On the other hand, if you dump a frog in a boiling pot of water, he'll jump right out and be saved.Or you have frog soup. And, if you use Peggy's convoluted metaphor, it's a huge bowl of soup, feeding a dinner party of tv, radio and print reporters. The entertainment media would starve if it were not for these frogs on the flame. Does she honestly believe we are the only country with entertainment that revolves around hard bodies, sexual innuendos and risky business? I'll agree with her to an extent that the people who want to attack America don't like our culture, but that's not the whole deal. If it were, England, Brazil, Denmark, Italy and hundreds of other places would be under attack as well. Things didn't change after 9/11. We didn't suddenly become subdued puritans who threw away our Cosmo magazines and watched public television instead of Fox reality shows. Sure, we didn't hear much about that part of culture; not because our culture made us anxious, but because we just weren't in the mood.
Our culture has been on a boil for years. Then it cooled a bit. The other night at the Super Bowl they put the flame higher and the water began to boil. The frog--that would be us--is still alive. And may, in his shock, jump out of the water. But the question is: How? How to turn it around. I wonder if all the sane adult liberals and conservatives couldn't make progress here. But how. Readers?Here's some ideas: Turn the channel. Teach your children good morals. Express your distaste for what's on tv or in the movies, but don't preach to people that they should find the same things distasteful. This frog is fine with the way things are. I'd rather stay in the pot and be boiled to live in a place where people think that my entertainment choices should be made for me. Not everything is about 9/11. This "freak show" of American culture that Peggy Noonan sees is not going to cause a suicide bomber to detonate a truckful of dynamite in a government building. Nor would purifying our culture stop that same suicide bomber from blowing himself up in a government building. It's about so much more than exposed breasts. To think otherwise means you don't really understand any of it.
CBC categorically rejects and denounces the personal opinions Mr. Cherry expressed during the segment. Comments such as those expressed during the show cannot be repeated and will not be tolerated.Also: In a statement released yesterday, Harold Redekopp, the executive vice-president of CBC Television, publicly reprimanded Mr. Cherry for his "inappropriate and reprehensible" remarks. Actually, what Cherry said was (paraphrased) this: The only players who wear visors are European or French guys. One government member (they were discussing the situation in the House of Commons) said: "Does that mean that because [former Montreal Canadiens goaltender] Jacques Plante had his nose broken and invented the goalie mask, that he is a wimp?" I know Canadians take their hockey seriously, but come on folks. Or maybe I'm just ignorant about the the rivalry between Canadians and French Canadians. Enlighten me, someone. And I wonder, do you think this incident really called for that type of outrage? Or is this really about Don Cherry constantly calling it like it is and speaking his mind - a mind that most often does not agree with the Bloc Quebecois gang? /unabashed Don Cherry fan
I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind. Again, I wish it wasn't true, but it is true. And the American people need to know they got a president who sees the world the way it is. And I see dangers that exist, and it's important for us to deal with them.That's what I want in my president. In this age, when terror alerts come every few days and every country seems to have a group of jihadis hiding in its corners, that is what I need to hear. I don't want a president who is going to negotiate with terrorists. I don't want a leader who looks for root causes instead of rooting out the terrorists. And I certainly don't want a president that will undo everything that has been already done in the war on terror. Bush on the 9/11 commission:
And again, we want I want the truth to be known. I want there to be a full analysis done so that we can better prepare the homeland, for example, against what might occur. And this is all in the context of war, and the more we learn about, you know, what took place in the past, the more we are going to be able to better prepare for future attacks.Right. 9/11 already happened. Whether or not our security was shoddy in the months preceding that day is - I won't say irrelevant, but not of the utmost importance to me at the moment. I want to know what is going to be done to prevent that from happening again. I want a president who has that as his first priority - to keep our nation safe. I want a leader who is not afraid to take on the world, when it needs taking on. The reality is that there are hundreds of groups out there who would love nothing more than to wipe America off the face of the earth. And like Optimus Prime, my leader will be able to transform into whatever is needed - a retaliator, a nation builder, a pre-emptive striker - to make sure that the citizens of his country are kept safe from terrorism. Bush on bin Laden and al Qaeda:
These are these are people that will kill on a moment's notice, and they will kill innocent women and children. And he's hiding, and we're trying to find him. ..I know there is a lot of focus on Iraq, and there should be, but we’ve got thousands of troops, agents, allies on the hunt, and we are doing a pretty good job of dismantling al Qaeda, better than a pretty good job, a very good job. I keep saying in my speeches, two thirds of known al Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed, and that's the truth.And every supposed imminent terrorist attack that the al Qaeda cronies boast about have never come to pass. How many flights have been grounded in the past few months alone due to intelligence information about terror attacks? I don't know about you, but that tells me our war on terror is working. If it wasn't, we would not have known about those plans in advance and we would have a lot of dead people on our hands. On the WMD threat:
I believe it is essential that when we see a threat, we deal with those threats before they become imminent. It's too late if they become imminent. It's too late in this new kind of war, and so that's why I made the decision I made.... It's important for people to understand the context in which I made a decision here in the Oval Office. I'm dealing with a world in which we have gotten struck by terrorists with airplanes, and we get intelligence saying that there is, you know, we want to harm America. And the worst nightmare scenario for any president is to realize that these kind of terrorist networks had the capacity to arm up with some of these deadly weapons, and then strike us. And the President of the United States’ most solemn responsibility is to keep this country secure. And the man was a threat, and we dealt with him, and we dealt with him because we cannot hope for the best. We can't say, Let's don't deal with Saddam Hussein. Let's hope he changes his stripes, or let's trust in the goodwill of Saddam Hussein. Let's let us, kind of, try to contain him. Containment doesn't work with a man who is a madman.That's good enough for me. It's good enough that I will pull the lever for Bush in November, because I don't think there is a single other candidate capable - or willing - to recognize the dangers that exist, the depth of the hatred of our prosperity, our freedoms, our non-Muslims ways that lead madmen and their followers to engage in attacks on the United States and other free countries.
Russert: It's now nearly a year, and we are in a very difficult situation. Did we miscalculate how we would be treated and received in Iraq? President Bush: Well, I think we are welcomed in Iraq. I'm not exactly sure, given the tone of your questions, we're not. We are welcomed in Iraq.Read this and get back to me on that. There is nothing more imporant to me than securing the world for my children and their children. Safety, fighting terrorism, spreading democracy, taking madmen out of power - they all are part of one big issue and - as it has been since September 11, 2001 - it is the only issue that matters to me. What good is dealing with health care and marriage definitions and teacher testing if we don't first make sure that five, ten, even twenty years from now we still exist as a whole, free nation?
In no particular order:
A lot of these probably don't count as “Rock”. Oh well.
# Song One # Song Two # Song ThreeIn your lists, should display like this: # Song One # Song Two # Song Three Also, if you've got a blog please do leave a link at the bottom of the post as well. Something like, "Posted by Kevin"
Hey Solonor- I'm trying to come up with the Ultimate Rock CD. The criteria is as follows: -The songs have to be relatively short (so no Rosalita or Stairway to Heaven, for example). -The songs must be upbeat in tempo. -The songs must ROCK (yes, in capital letters). -The songs must be inclusive of all rock "eras" (so in theory it would appeal to a teenager and to old farts like us). -Only one song from each artist (try picking one Green Day or Ramones song). ... Maybe you could put this up on your web site, I’d love to get lot’s of ideas.Far be it from me to let a good list making opportunity go by. And by that I mean you making the list, not me. You get to list up to ten songs (Solly was generous and let his readers list twenty). Ok fine, you can list more than ten. I don't want anyone accusing me of being cheap with the song lists. And, I'll change it a little by saying not only should you represent all rock eras, but fit as many rock genres in there as well. There's no ultimate point to this other than it will start some good fights and and the lists will be fun to read and if you keep the lists numerous and interesting, I won't have to blog again today and I can go back to bed, where I'm supposed to be. We're going to do this two ways: You can either do it the open mic way, by logging in and making your own post (you MUST put your name on the post somewhere) or, if you are too lazy to do that, use the comments on this post. If you've got a blog, link it. Free advertising! Have fun, play nice (or kind of nice) and I'll be back to