Capes

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27th, 2006 by Mike

1) The last time Bryan Singer directed Kevin Spacey as a criminal mastermind, the movie was The Usual Suspects. I've often asked myself (as I'm sure you have as well) "What it would it be like if Keyser Soze had access to Kryptonite?" I'll be finding out tonight…

Go Lex go!

2) I'm seeing Superman Returns just a few weeks after seeing the quite awful X3. I glanced at my watch an hour into the movie, and told my party "we've only been here one hour" – a statement nobody believed. They all felt that the movie was approaching the third hour.

I would recommend seeing X3 only to see the trailers that came on beforehand. Regardless of X3's worth, the trailers for the movie were the largest gathering of bad trailers I've never seen. Remember the Awesomo episode of South Park where Cartman keeps making up Adam Sandler movies? That's all I can think of when I see the trailers for Click. There was Little Man and Fast and the Furious Part 3: Tokyo Drift. But the movie that takes the cake was Ghost Rider.

Nicholas Cage plays a stunt motorcycle driver who is possessed by a demon. Or something. At night his head and the wheels of the motorcycle burst into flames and he fights evil. He has a shotgun that shoots fireballs as well. It's something to behold. I really like the idea that somewhere, the producer pulled aside the director and they had this exchange:

Producer: "Listen, if only Ghost Rider's front wheel is on fire, and we leave the back wheel flameless, we can save about 100 grand and get the movie out early."
Director: "I will not compromise the artistic integrity of this project. Ghost Rider's motorcycle is on fire, or I walk from the project."

LOYALTY PURCHASES

Posted in Rants on June 24th, 2006 by Ed

Hi. I'm in Montana. I have been for quite some time and I will be until July. I don't particularly smell good and I don't figure to have interweb access much beyond the occasional wired truck stop (this terminal is located directly behind a rack of – I shit you not – Larry the Cable Guy merchandise). Given that there are technically three people who post on this page, I didn't figure that my going on vacation would mean two-plus weeks without updates. I was incorrect. For those of you who still bother reading despite the lack of updates, thank you.

This morning, whilst driving across something called "Going to the Sun Road" I listened to the most recent Nine Inch Nails album With Teeth for one of the first times since I reviewed it (Check the music section for a refresher. Hint: it blows). Now, when driving for approximately 5500 miles round trip, one tends to exhaust an entire music collection pretty quickly – both the wheat and the chaff. But it struck me as particularly obvious while listening to my ol' buddy Trent's latest work – I purchased this entirely out of loyalty. When he puts out another album, I will purchase it again out of loyalty and habit. It will not be good. It will rot on my CD rack, but it will crucially keep intact the completeness of my collection (although I'm quitting at "Halo 100" no matter what).

Am I the only person who does this? Please say I'm not. It will make me feel better. Besides, I know a lot of you went to see the 3rd Star Wars prequel. Don't tell me you went because you thought it would rule. What compels people to continue supporting burnt out franchises? I always knew I had a completist/collector mentality towards things, but listening to this disc is making me wonder if I've taken it too far.

HOW TO GET FIRED IN PUBLISHING

Posted in Rants on June 13th, 2006 by Ed

1. Identify an author with no previous writing experience whom you assume will appeal to a particular buying demographic.

2. Make sure that said novice author does not actually appeal to that demographic (or, alternatively, that the demographic simply doesn't exist).

3. Give author a seven-figure advance.

4. Sell fewer copies of the book than one can fit in the trunk of a 1992 Geo Storm.

5. Clean out desk.

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She has more in common with Phillipe Petain than just the haircut

I'm not really sure why the folks at Threshold (a Simon and Schuster company) thought that a Mary Cheney biography would appeal to gay consumers. It's sort of like expecting a book about Vichy France to go over well with the French. Now my finger may not be perfectly on the pulse of the gay community, but I'm fairly certain they weren't beating down the door to hear the story of the spineless, closeted, apologist daughter of the Bush administration's architect.

The sales figures back me up. Nielsen Bookscan says: about 5500 copies in four weeks (barely 2500 in its release week). And here's the kicker. They paid her $1 million up front to share her amazing tale of equivocation. That's $181 for every book sold thus far.

Ouch. This book makes the Edsel look like a rampant success.

As the sales have tapered off (less than 600 last week) and will hit rock bottom pretty soon, we can't expect Simon & Schuster's investment to look any better as time goes on. Young publishing magnates take note – such catastrophes can be avoided in the future by asking simple questions like "Am I being unrealistic about this project's sales potential?" and "Is this the dumbest fucking idea in the history of mankind?"

If you answer either question affirmatively, maybe it's best to pass.

THAT'S CAJUN FOR "I AM FUCKING INSANE"

Posted in Rants on June 7th, 2006 by Ed

I'd like to qualify the following by pointing out that no one enjoys the comedic value inherent in right-wing histrionics more than I do; the vein-bulging, voice-cracking spiels of pure bile that are bemusing until you realize that the speaker is dead serious, after which point it simply becomes a theater of the absurd.

To wit: typical Republican Senator v.2006 David Vitter of Louisiana, re: the gay marriage debate in Congress. "I don't believe there's any issue that's more important than this one."

Now, I understand that this is prima facie amusing due to the high levels of melodrama and absurd exaggeration. It is the kind of thing that one would expect to hear from any random, generic Republican lawmaker these days. But here's the really funny part. Wait for it….

David Ritter represents the state of Louisiana. So when he's saying that no issue is "more important than" gay marriage, it's implied that his constituents are more concerned about gays than any of those…other problems the state has endured recently.

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A man rushes to move his handicapped friend away from local gays

Apparently all that "dying" and "complete devastation" are not important to Louisianans. The problems have been resolved or, to the extent that they remain, are clearly less important than gay marriage.

Click here to email Senator Ritter and congratulate him on his ability to put his priorities, and those of his constituents, in the proper order.

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New Orleans residents assemble for a public rally in support of traditional marriage

Do these jackasses have any idea how badly this is going to backfire? If it doesn't, then any remaining shred of faith you may have in the American public can safely be flushed down the toilet.

IT MAY BE A STRAW MAN, BUT IT'S STILL SATISFYING

Posted in Rants on June 6th, 2006 by Ed

While beating up on Bill Bennett isn't exactly difficult or something to brag about, this video of Jon Stewart ripping the corpulent gambling addict a new cornhole over gay marriage is one of the best things you'll ever see. Unfortunately this clip doesn't capture the money shot – Bennett says "This debate is over" and Stewart responds "Yes, and you lost."

Zing.

IMMIGRANTS, GAYS, AND THE POLITICAL GRIST MILL

Posted in Rants on June 5th, 2006 by Ed

I'd like to think that people on the religious and cultural right KNOW (in the intuitive sense, if not explicitly) that they're being toyed with, baited, and otherwise used. I'd like to think they're smart enough to figure that out. I really would.

But here in reality, I know they're not. They're nowhere near smart enough to figure out that amendments require 67 votes in the Senate, 295 votes in the House, and 38 states for approval. They don't understand that NONE of those hurdles (let alone all of them) can be overcome given the current Congressional majorities. They don't realize that this is just vacuous pandering – an empty gesture, a waste of Congressional time, a bill dead on arrival.

Really, we as a nation have no pressing concerns and we can therefore afford to blow a week or two debating an amendment that hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of passing. How's that war working out? Everything get resolved over there? It must have.

Oh, by the way. While the "marriage protection" amendment is occupying the talk shows 24-7 for the next few days, Congress will be approving (likely by voice vote) another $92 billion in supplemental appropriations for Iraq. See, that's how Bush operates. He makes a budget with ridiculously low and unrealistic estimates of the costs of war. The conservative lapdogs in the media laud his fiscal restraint. Then he pays for it by adding a supplemental "emergency" appropriation every 6 weeks, hiding such measures by debating some meaningless and divisive cultural issue to distract the pinheaded public (or tying the supplemental war funds to something like Katrina relief, thereby making it politically impossible to oppose).

I'd like to think the Fred Phelps crowd is starting to wake up to how blatantly and crassly they're being used. But that's wishful thinking. They're all perfectly content to claim once again that gay marriage is somehow more important than the war (now celebrating 4 straight massacre-free days!), the economy, and the fact that they're mortgaging the fuck out of their children's futures. "Well Johnny, mom and dad have taken political steps to ensure that no gays will bother you by getting married during the upcoming depression. If you ever find a job, figure out how to pay back the $500 billion we deficit-spent, or manage to avoid getting drafted, I'm sure you'll thank us."

They're nowhere near smart enough to realize that NOTHING will ever be done about gay marriage or abortion – why would the GOP shoot itself in the foot by taking away the carrot it can dangle in front of the Dobson drones every time they need to cover up some new ineptitude? I mean, that's why superheroes never kill their arch-enemies. If there were no villains in the world then Superman would become sort of irrelevant, wouldn't he?

TSEKKITUKKA GALORE!

Posted in Rants on June 2nd, 2006 by Ed

It has come to my attention that the words for "mullet" (the hairstyle, not the fish) in the Scandinavian languages are as follows:

  • Norwegian: hockeysveis
  • Swedish: hockeyfrilla
  • Finnish: tsekkitukka

    As you might be able to guess from the first two, all Scandinavian languages refer to this glorious hairstyle as "hockey hair" in deference to that sport's fondness for it. But the Finns go a little bit farther. You see, "Tsekkitukka" literally means "Czech hockey hair." Apparently the Czechs are more bemulleted than the average hockey player (which is pretty impressive considering that group includes Alberta).

    I wasn't sure that this was a fair ethnic stereotype, so I asked Czech-born hockey superstar Jaromir Jagr.

    jagr_hair.jpg

    Yep. Tsekkitukka sounds just about right.

  • YOU KNOW, IT'S ALMOST IMPRESSIVE AT THIS POINT

    Posted in Rants on June 1st, 2006 by Ed

    It really is. I don't think George Bush and his ilk are going to be satisfied until every last person (aside from deep southern evangelicals, of course) loathes them.

    It didn't take much to get 50% of the population to reach that conclusion. The other 50% has been a lot slower to come around, but boy has it started to come around. Case in point: Rupert Murdoch's New York Post. This is the same paper that ran the infamous "Axis of Weasel" cover and was basically a warmongering shill for the Bush administration throughout the Iraq run-up.

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    Yes, this is from a real newspaper. I swear.

    That was then. This is now.

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    Yes, it appears that those New Yorkers (and Washingtonians, seeing as how DC was screwed just as badly) aren't too thrilled that the DHS has decided to slash the amount of money the city will receive for anti-terrorism measures. Instead, the money is being diverted to rural areas (just in time for the election, of course) so that security can be beefed up around prime terrorist targets like Cobb County, Georgia and Laramie, Wyoming.

    Losing Rupert Murdoch, from Bush's perspective, is so unbelievable that it must be considered impressive. It sums up my attitude about the current administration in its entirety: I simply have nothing left to say. I can only look at it in disbelief, occasionally pausing to giggle. This is a presidency that has quite literally re-written the book on how not to govern. It is quite simply the worst presidency in our lifetimes, and should we all live to be 120 I sincerely hope that statement never needs to be revised. I always knew Bush would end up being remembered as our worst president, but I didn't think it would happen during his term. According to this poll, he's somehow edged out Nixon and outnumbered the Clinton-hating right-wingers nearly 2-to-1.

    Impressive. Absolutely impressive.