February 23, 2009

But Some Animals Are More Fair Than Others...

Yet another example of how the Right and Left think completely differently...

One of the latest issues of the teachers' union magazine had this gem on the cover:
The wealthy pay the same top tax rate as the working class. Is this really fair?
I wonder if they apply the same definition of "fair" when handing out those grades?

February 22, 2009

Oscar? I Barely Know Her!

As I've already said, I'm not watching the Oscars this evening. I so rarely agree with the winners these days that it would just be an exercise in frustration. I've tried to watch all of the films with any kind of buzz around them, and got through all but The Reader. I had planned on writing a long diatribe about my picks for the major categories, but this morning my motherboard crapped out on me.

Since I'm borrowing time (and a computer) to write this, I'll have to make it brief:

I really hope that Mickey Rourke wins for The Wrestler. Not only was that the best performance, I think it was the best picture, even though it wasn't nominated. I'm one of the few people who aren't rooting for Slumdog Millionaire. Not only do I not think it was the best film of the year, I wouldn't have even nominated it. Hell, I don't think I would even put it in my top ten of the year. I honestly can't understand the push for this movie to win. (Of course, I couldn't understand The Departed winning either. I still think it's one of the worst films ever to win.) The characters are barely developed, the acting isn't that good (you'll notice none of them are nominated), the score quickly becomes irritating, and the direction--more specifically, the camerawork--is so "in-your-face" and obvious that it obscures what, at times, is an interesting story. And speaking of the story, I also felt that it couldn't decide what kind of film it wanted to be. If any of my students had turned in something like that, I would have called it "unfocused."

Don't get me wrong: It's not a bad little film. I just don't think it ranks up there with the others. I would gladly have replaced it with Gran Torino if I could. I never felt a connection, a care, or even a worry about the characters in Slumdog. Every time I thought I might, they moved on to some other aspect of the film. The Wrestler, Gran Torino, and many of the other nominees? I got into the characters; I felt moved by the stories. One of the ways I judge a film is how often I look at my watch, or how quickly (or not) the time flies by. I've had three hour films (such as The Shawshank Redemption) that seemed over before I knew it, and eighty minute films that seemed interminable. I checked my watch more than a little while watching Slumdog.

And I don't have anything against foreign films, or films with socio-political undertones, as anyone who knows me will attest. I thought The Visitor was a better film than Slumdog. (And even though I want the Mickster to win, I won't shed a tear if Richard Jenkins wins--he was great.)

Well, the ceremony is almost here, and I'm certain later tonight, or tomorrow, when I hear the winners, I'll be disappointed, but not that disappointed, as I've come to expect so little from the Academy.

There's always next year...

February 21, 2009

Facebook Worm

So Facebook users have been receiving notifications stating something along the lines of:

[friend's name] has faced some errors when checking your profile
Followed by a link that is supposed to allow you to "view the errors message." If you click on that link, you will be asked to activate an application named "Error Check System."


Let me repeat that:


It is some kind of spyware/malware/worm that I'm guessing takes your infomation and gives the author access to that information, including access to your page. It also appears to send itself on to people on your friends list, claiming to be from you.

If you've already activated it, or you find it in your list of applications, I would immediately delete it, and change your password. Don't know if it's already too late, but it couldn't hurt.

February 15, 2009

What's Next? The Knights Who Say "Nike"?

So I just watched that Gatorade commercial that references Monty Python & The Holy Grail, and I can't help wondering if they've missed their target audience ever so slightly...

And then I saw a Burger King commercial where a couple of nerdy guys unveil mini burgers, which draw a crowd of hands-on, attractive ladies who "just want to squeeze them." Bravo, BK...Bravo.

February 12, 2009

All The News That's Fit To Ignore

I'm sure by now that you've all seen the video of poor Henrietta Hughes asking President Obama to help her escape her homelessness. What I find really telling is his response:

"We're gonna do everything we can to help you, but there are a lot of people like you..."

It's a brilliant, sensitive answer that says...absolutely nothing.

"We"? Did Henrietta ask someone in addition to Obama for help? Who is this "we"? Maybe he means the "we" who will have to pay the taxes for some of the programs he's supporting. And notice that he says that this mysterious "we" will do everything we can to help. Well, if "we" can't do anything, then "we" won't do anything, right? Doing nothing is perfectly consistent with his answer. It's a non-committal committal. In fact he tries to weasel his way out of doing anything with his next statement: "but there are a lot of people like you." Translation: there are a shitload of people as fucked as you are, so don't expect too much from me. Then he gives her a kiss. Boo-boo all gone.

It looks like Henrietta did get a house to live in. A Florida representative's wife agreed to let Henrietta and her adult son live in a house she owned. And this is where I get pissed off. I read maybe a dozen reports about this and not one of them pointed out the fact that it was a Republican representative's wife who helped Ms. Hughes out. Not one. In fact, I noticed over at HuffPo, some of the comments criticizing those "selfish, greedy Repubs." Apparently they didn't know the whole story either. If anyone out there has seen a version of the story in which they actually identify Nick and Chene Thompson by their political affiliations, please send me a link.

This all begs the question of whether or not the media would have been so quiet about Thompson's politics if the parties had been reversed.

Ultimately, though, I find this to be an excellent example of one of the differences I see between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are always talking about how they're going to help you, usually by getting someone else to pay for it. The Republicans step up and do it.

February 08, 2009

Caption This!! (Part Whatever)

Yet another angle of Santonio Holmes' amazing end zone Super Bowl catch.

SNL 2-7-09

Opener: even the audience didn't laugh at that one. Also, small point, but haven't the Democrats had a majority for the last two of those last eight years?

Monologue: Who the fuck is Bradley Cooper? Seriously. This is the first time EVER that I have not known the host of SNL. EVER!

Today Show: Didn't like this bit the last time they did it. This one was no better. The real versions are more irritating, and so it's tough to make fun of them by trying to be irritating.

"I'm Gonna Have Sex With Your Wife": Yet another SNL skit that relies on one joke that goes on too long. On another note....I don't want any more sketches with Casey Wilson having pretend sex with the host. (See last week's Steve Martin cast orgy sketch)

Digital Short (Boat Ride): The highlight so far, but only because the rest has been so bad.

Four Guys & A Song: Not crazy about the choice of song, but this is always one of my favorite setups. Paul Rudd and his cell phone set the bar pretty high, but this one wasn't too bad.

TV on the Radio 1: Not really all that familiar with them, so I can't really compare the live/studio work, but I dig the music. The singing wasn't anything to write home about. Fans, is that normal for them?

Weekend Update: Nancy Pelosi joke...nice. The Phelps/Spitz bit gave me the first laugh out loud moments of the night. I like Seth's delivery, but I miss Amy. Especially with "Really?" (which was pretty hilarious AND insightful. Kellogg's sucks). Bjork? What does it say when Bjork is actually the most stable character Kristin Wiig's played in a while? On another side note, if life had sound effects, I've always thought "bjork" would be the sound an erection would make.

And Lorne Michaels, don't think I haven't noticed that we're more than halfway through with only ONE Casey Wilson sketch. I'm keeping my eye on you.

Locker Room: Sketch-wise, I'm beginning to think that SNL saves up all the suck to give it to the relatively unknown host. At least it was short.

Bad Guys & Good Conversation: I want to love any sketch that has Hans Gruber AND Jame Gumb. Of course, I should point out that none of these villains are from movies in the last 18 years. That may have killed the sketch a little. If not for Hader's Gumb, this one would have been a train wreck.

Intervention: Dear God...finally, another Casey sketch, and this is what we get? Can't they give her another paralyzed stripper sketch or something?

TV On The Radio 2: Best of the two performances, but still...music awesome, singing not awesome.

Christian Bale: Not a bad Bale. I'd rather go back and listen to the real thing, though. That's half the trouble with SNL: they find something already funny or something that everyone in the civilized world is already making fun of (and most of them doing it better) and then try to improve on the comedy. Thank god this is almost over. I'm so tired, I'm not even sure this post is going to make any sense.

Baldwin's on next week. Don't know if it's new or not, but even his repeats are better than this steaming pile of show.

February 07, 2009

"Well, It's Not This Bill..."

This is one of the best responses I've seen to the President's (kinda snarky) comments regarding the "stimulus" bill:

So then you get the argument, well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill. What do you think a stimulus is? (Laughter and applause.) That's the whole point. No, seriously. (Laughter.) That's the point. (Applause.)

And the best line in the response:

"Government spending is never a stimulus package, because the government cannot create wealth--it can only transfer wealth in the form of taxes. Government than spends and redistributes the taxes to programs and populations it deems worthwhile. The government sponsored economy is a a zero sum game."
I was trying to come up with some clever observation, such as "Stimulus is all spending, but not all spending is stimulus," or something like that, but I have a DVD I want to watch, so screw it.

Oh, Enough Already!!

What is it about Sarah Palin that bring out the assholishness in people? I used to find Andrew Sullivan interesting to read. Now he just seems petty and a little pathetic. Especially when he can't find anything else to write about other than whether or not Sarah Palin was lying about how she named her daughter Bristol.

First, I have to say: who gives a shit? Pssst....the election's over.

Second, although he's big enough to correct himself with an update, he just can't let it go, adding a second update saying "on the other hand, many readers have written to say that Palin was highly unlikely to have known of ESPN in high school. It was only founded in 1979 and became widely known only in 1982." Really? That's the best you can do? Well, seing as Palin was still in high school in 1982, I'm not sure what that's supposed to prove. In addition, it wouldn't surprise me that someone who was interested in sports broadcasting (in fact, Palin eventually got her bachelor's in communication) might just know about a 24-hour sports broadcasting network. But that's just me. I think "highly unlikey" is a huge stretch, and either a show of bias or a lame attempt to save face. I don't find it unlikely that a graduating student interested in profiling for the FBI might know about Quantico and the Behavioral Sciences Unit, even before CSI became "widely known." I don't find it unlikely that a student interested in the historical Jesus might have read a few books on the subject, even before The DaVinci Code became "widely known." And I don't find it unlikely--especially not "highly"--that a student interested in sports and broadcasting would know a little something about ESPN before it became "widely known." Frankly, it sounds like Palin did more research coming up with her daughter's name than Sullivan did for his post.

Yeah, I said it.

"Does This Outfit Make My Ass Look Big?"

February 05, 2009

"Dude...Is That Maui Wowie?" "No, It's Schadenfreude!"

So Kellogg's has decided not to renew Michael Phelps's contract.

Frankly, this whole thing is such bullshit. We have a president in office who has admitted to doing "blow," and the two before him have (I'm sure) smoked a little ganja themselves, inhaling or not. (Oh, and the president's half-brother was just arrested for possession.)

Kellogg's has the right to do as they see fit, but the press was being a little hypocritical by going after Phelps, while holding up Obama as a paragon of virtue.

If you ask me, anyone who smokes a bong and still manages to win 14 medals for swimming is a great spokesman for what human beings can accomplish. Remember, this is the guy that gave his one million dollar Speedo bonus to start a foundation for young swimmers, to help teach swimming safety. He's a good guy. People like Phelps, and maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think the general public sees marijuana as the "demon weed" it once was. About half the country admits to trying it, and I'll bet many of the other half lied.

Prediction? This will come back to bite Kellogg's in the ass.

("Kellogg's Ass Bites" could be the worst cereal name ever.)

Here's To The Classics!

I'm putting this on my reading list.

Frankly, I think a lot of the classics could be improved by the inclusion of zombies. I'm looking forward to Jane Eyrrrrrgh by Bronte, Oliver Twist (Your Limbs Off) by Dickens, and Gore and Pieces by Tolstoy

February 04, 2009

It's Always Something...

So there are a lot of posts out there using still photos of the Santonio Holmes catch to somehow "prove" that he never got both feet down. Using a still photo to argue that Holmes never got both feet down is like using a photo of Fitzgerald at the ten-yard line to argue that he never reached the end zone. The truth is, you could have a thousand photos of his feet not touching and it still wouldn't prove anything. Yet all it would take is one photo with both feet down to prove he did make the catch.

So shut yer traps.

Photo from Robert Deutsch/USA Today. Click on the photo for larger, in-your-face-Cardinals-fans version.

February 03, 2009

This Time I Mean It!

I know I'm always saying that such-and-such is the funniest thing I've seen, but this may actually be the one. Thank you, Ken!

February 02, 2009

We Asked For It

By getting rid of Ebert, Roeper, et. al.

I'm watching the "Ten Worst" episode of the Ebert replacement show, and the one guy puts Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in the #1 slot on his list. Really? You thought Beverly Hills Chihuahua was a better film than Indy?


February 01, 2009

Super Bowl

1st Quarter: I think it might have been a mistake to not go for it. Fourth and a foot, and you've got the best defense in the league? I know points on the board are points on the board, but it IS the Super Bowl.

2nd Quarter: 13 yards? Ouch.

See...this is why it was a mistake for the Steelers not to go for it in the first. The Cardinals can score that quickly.

Steelers D at it again. I thought there was :03 left on the clock, so if they don't give him the TD, they ought to put time on the clock for one play. Maybe I was wrong.

Doesn't matter, I guess--they gave him the TD.

Halftime: I caught Seth Meyers' joke on SNL about the Steelers and Cardinals "opening for Springsteen." Ha ha. Come see me in 20 years and we'll see which one is still on TV--the NFL or Springsteen.

Is it me, or does the overwhelming theme of Super Bowl commercials seem to be meanness?

Damn it! Where do I get me some "Chuck" 3-D glasses?

Third Quarter: Maybe it's just me, but what I saw was Warner reaching for a ball that came loose from his hand...NOT a forward pass. Certainly not enough of one to overcome the call on the field.

Heath Miller plays well enough that I'll forgive the occasional drop...but he still should have caught it.

Wow...Adrian Wilson self-destructs. That sucks...I like Wilson.

Fourth Quarter: One more to go!

I like that the Steelers are staying agressive on defense.

I spoke too soon. This is my problem with the Steelers' D: the team gets a lead, and what happens? They pull back and let the team dink and dunk right down the field. Being agressive worked so far. Pressure!

That 1st Quarter call...

I love my Steelers, but they deserve to lose this game. The Cardinals have given them every opportunity to win the game, and they've made bad decisions all the way.

Touchdown Steelers!! So...assuming the win stands...Holmes or Harrison for MVP?

At the risk of jinxing things, I should point out that I'm less than excited about the Steelers' special teams play (although they've been decent tonight).

And the defense wins it again. One for the thumb...on the LEFT hand.

I don't know what's going to happen, but I think MVP should go to Holmes.

Oh, man...what a game. Hats off to the Cardinals. They made it so close that I think I may be sick, and the game's over.

He Ain't Heavy...

Billy Carter, Roger Clinton, and now...
George Obama.

Seems as if the president's half-brother was just arrested in Nairobi for possession of marijuana. Maybe he could market this, kind of like "Billy Beer." How about "Obama Ganja"?

Why is it that the Democrats always seem to have these embarrassing brothers? I guess maybe the Republicans just elect theirs.*

*Someone was going to say it...why not me?

Saturday Night Not-So-Live

My thoughts on SNL as I watch the episode I DVRed last night:

Opening: I can imagine the memo...
"Continuing the long-standing tradition of SNL making fun of American presidents, our opener will take a shot at President Obama. Writers, please note--we will not be doing anything that makes Obama himself look bad. Biden? Sure. George Bush? Even better."

Monologue: If jokes are a little lame, a "So Barack Obama is president" comment always works. "San Dimas High School football rules!!" (obscure movie reference)

Edible Pampers: Laughed a little; lost appetite a lot.

MacGruber: What a waste of Richard Dean Anderson. You get MacGuyver and that's the best you can do?

Super Bowl Bar: Not so great. Martin's character seemed a little out of place.

Digital Shorts - Laser Cats 4: KILL...KILL...LOVE. Awesome!

Issues: Oh, Casey Wilson...even with "permples" on your face, you are enchanting! When will you give up this comedy thing and settle down with a nice boy who occasionally writes about pining for you in his blog?

MacGruber 2: Still a waste.

Bernie Madoff Super Bowl Party: Cute, but suffers from the occasional SNL problem of "let's play the one note to death."

Cast Members/Steve Martin Orgy: NOOOOOOOO!!!! Why, Casey Wilson, Why? Damn you, Martin! I hate you with the heat of a thousand white hot suns!!
The singing was nice.

MacGruber 3: Pepsi pepsi waste pepsi.

Jason Mraz: He's always good live. No exception here.

Weekend Update:
  1. Guys, making fun of Blago doesn't work, as Blago himself does it better than anyone.
  2. The Angelina Jolie baby search - either kind of funny, or just seems so compared to the rest.
  3. David Patterson - They've got some guts, going with this skit after they got so much flak last time. I thought it was funny, but I kept wondering if it would play outside of New York. Is Patterson well-known outside NY?
  4. Jersey jokes are always funny.
  5. I heard Lorne Michaels hates it, but I always like it when cast members break up.
Store Makeup: Casey Wilson and Steve Martin - "It really makes my lips look moist." "Your face looks much more like a baby's fanny now." My god, get a room you two...I am sooo over you, Casey Wilson. (Just kidding. You're still my comedy goddess. Call me?)

Steve Martin Banjo: I love when Steve Martin plays the banjo. Nice song, too, but I saw the punchline coming. I also would have liked more playing, less singing.

Forefathers of the Game: Hahahaha...."of course we were upset! He had a great arm and a GUN!" Best skit so far. Reminded me a little of Woody Allen's Zelig.

Jason Mraz 2: See Jason Mraz 1 above.