January 24, 2010

Welcome to the Family, Little X-1

The wife of one of my friends is a MA liberal. She writes about how Obamacare will save the world, end war, and provide blow jobs for the homeless...or something like that. To be honest, I don't read all that closely. But I did notice in one of her recent diatribes, she came out with this gem:
I have three kids, and bring them to the doctor A LOT. At more than $160 per sick visit, that is too steep for me w/out medical insurance.
Now I like my friend, and although I don't know his wife all that well, she seems like a nice enough person. After reading this, however, my first thought was "if you're complaining about the medical costs for three children, then maybe, just maybe...YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE HAD THREE FUCKING KIDS!" I can't tell you how irritating I find this kind of person. The "it's my choice what to do with my life and my body and don't you try to tell me how to live my life" people who then want the government to assist them when they are in over their heads. (And since governments don't create wealth so much as they distribute it through our taxes, guess where that assistance is really coming from.) This shouldn't come as a surprise to any adult: having children costs money. Especially if you want to take them to the doctor, instead of a good home leeching or mustard plaster. Children are little people; they are not accessories or status symbols. They get sick. They need medication and shots. They even occasionally bump into things or fall and break bones. If you're not aware of that, you shouldn't be having children. And if you can't afford to take the proper care, you shouldn't be having them. Or instead of having X number of children, perhaps have X-1.

Look, I firmly believe that everyone should be able to have as many children as they want to....IF they can pay for them. But somebody tell me why on Earth I and others like me, who live responsibly and within our means, should be taxed for programs such as government health care because you didn't take into account your kids' stomach flu. Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck paying child support for a kid I didn't even have. I'm getting screwed, and I'm not even getting screwed.

I have nothing against kids. But you, you people with your broods of five or six or more that you can't afford? You are no better than those people who took out mortgages for houses they couldn't afford, and contributed to the economic fiasco that followed.

I know one couple, friends of mine, who are trying to decide between having children or buying a house. They realize that even though they both make fairly decent incomes, they can't afford both right now. Good for them.

Call me a dick if you want to, but just remember: I'm not the one who's doing anything that's going to increase your taxes to pay for my lifestyle choices.

January 06, 2010

Promises, Promises

Here's some "hope and change" for you, as in "I HOPE no one remembers I promised this, now that I've CHANGED my mind."

Hat tip to Scott Baio. Yes, THAT Scott Baio.

January 03, 2010

And One More For Luck

I've already added 50 films to my "best of the decade" list, but I wish I'd seen this one before I did, as it surely would have held a place on the list. Flame and Citron is a beautifully shot and acted film. Thinking back over it, I can't seem to find a misstep anywhere. The two leads, Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen, were just mesmerizing. Lindhardt's IMDB page says he is known in his native Denmark as "the Man With a Thousand Faces" because he so completely disappears into widely disparate roles. I can believe it. I was blown away by the performances of both men. If you have a chance, check this gem of a film out. It's what Valkyrie and Inglorious Basterds could have been.

January 02, 2010

The "Best" And "Worst" Films Of The Decade

Yeah, I know--everyone's making these lists. So why should you give a shit about mine? I honestly don't know. I don't know if anyone even reads this thing anymore, but I took the time to sit down and make the list, so I'm damn sure going to include it here.

A couple of points:
  • I have "best" and "worst" in quotes because I'm not really maintaining these are the best or worst films of the decade. The best list should rightly be called "my favorites." For example, I'm sure there have been any number of great films over the last decade that I haven't seen. I could probably name them, but I'm not including them. And the worst list is even more vaguely defined. Here, I've included not only "bad" films, but films that I thought were vastly overrated. (Some of them are on a lot of "best of the decade" lists!) As with the other extreme, I'm sure that there were some really terrible films out there, but I wasn't stupid enough to waste my time with them. Let me repeat: these are only movies I have seen.
  • I didn't run the numbers, but it feels like I have a lot of recent ones. Even though I hate lists that do that, I can't help it--it's tough to think of the older films.
  • The list is alphabetical*
  • I know...the list isn't complete. I just thought I'd put it up here until I finished.
The Best:
  1. Amelie(2001)
  2. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy(2004)
  3. Apocalypto(2006)
  4. Batman Begins(2005)
  5. Black Hawk Down(2001)
  6. The Bourne Identity(2002)
  7. Brick(2005)
  8. Casino Royale(2006)
  9. The Dark Knight(2008)
  10. The Descent(2005)
  11. District B13(2004)
  12. Elf(2003)
  13. The Fall(2006) 
  14. Finding Nemo(2003)
  15. The Gift(2000)
  16. Gone Baby Gone(2007)
  17. Gran Torino(2008)
  18. Grizzly Man(2005)
  19. Iron Man(2008)
  20. Joy Ride(2001)
  21. King Kong(2005) 
  22. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters(2007)
  23. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang(2005)
  24. The Last Samurai(2003)
  25. Let the Right One In(2008)
  26. The Lord of the Rings trilogy(2001/2002/2003)
  27. The Magdeline Sisters(2002)
  28. Man on Wire(2008)
  29. Memento(2000)
  30. Oldboy(2003)
  31. The Reader(2008)
  32. Requiem for a Dream(2000)
  33. Shaun of the Dead(2004)
  34. Sin City(2005)
  35. Sin Nombre(2009)
  36. Spartan(2004)
  37. Spider-Man(2002)
  38. Sunshine(2007)
  39. Tae Guk Gi(2004)
  40. Taken(2008)
  41. Things We Lost in the Fire(2007)
  42. Towelhead(2007)
  43. Unbreakable(2000)
  44. Unleashed(2005)
  45. Venus(2006)
  46. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit(2005)
  47. Watchmen(2007)
  48. Whale Rider(2002)
  49. The World's Fastest Indian(2005)
  50. The Wrestler(2008)

The Worst:
  1. The Departed(2006)*
  2. Kill Bill, volumes 1&2(2003/2004)*
  3. Slumdog Millionaire(2008)*
  4. 88 Minutes(2008)
  5. Basic Instinct 2(2006)
  6. A Beautiful Mind(2001)
  7. Borat(2006) 
  8. Catwoman(2004)
  9. Click(2007)
  10. Cloverfield(2008)
  11. Crash(2004) 
  12. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon(2000)
  13. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button(2008)
  14. Dawn of the Dead(2004)
  15. The Day After Tomorrow(2004)
  16. Death-Proof(2007)
  17. The Devil's Rejects(2005)
  18. Disaster Movie(2008)
  19. Fahrenheit 9/11(2004)
  20. Freddy vs. Jason(2003)
  21. Friday the 13th(2009)
  22. Halloween(2007)
  23. Halloween II(2009)
  24. High Fidelity(2000)
  25. Hostel, Part II(2007)
  26. I Know Who Killed Me(2007)
  27. Inglorious Basterds(2009)
  28. Knowing(2009)
  29. My Bloody Valentine(2009)
  30. Nature's Grave(2008)
  31. One Missed Call(2008)
  32. Planet of the Apes(2000)
  33. Prom Night(2008)
  34. Righteous Kill(2008)
  35. Rollerball(2002)
  36. The Room(2003)
  37. Signs(2001)
  38. Sleuth(2007)
  39. Snakes on a Plane(2006)
  40. The Spirit
  41. Superman Returns(2006)
  42. Train(2008)
  43. The Wicker Man(2006)
* You probably noticed that the first three "worst" films are out of alphabetical order. That's because those three boggle my mind. Two of them were Oscar winners. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why. They weren't terrible films, but I wouldn't even have put any of them in the top 10 for their respective years. I know people disagree over matters of taste, but I look at those films and I truly can't understand how anyone could possibly put those in a "best of" list. They're not terrible films. I just find them to be...mediocre, at best. The Departed, despite having a slew of great actors, was acted amazingly poorly, the bad accents made me wince (yeah, I'm talking to you, Sheen), and the plot was illogical and full of huge holes. Kill Bill is yet another mishmash of "stuff that Quentin thinks is cool," and I really resent that it was split into two films because a) it didn't need to be, and b)of course it was about the money. Get an editor, Quentin. That said, the second installment was much better. Slumdog is the one I am least offended by, but still...it's so caught up in its gimmick that you can never really become interested in the characters. Forget about the fact that we know the main character survives from the beginning, which tends to reduce any sense of suspense or danger we might feel. What really bothered me is that every time I started getting interested in the characters, the film jumped to a different time. To be honest, I would have rather watched a complete two-hour film about any of the various incarnations of the characters (like the young boy looking to meet his hero). I wanted a film that fully developed the characters. Instead, I feel like I got a bunch of different characters that I never really got to know, and consequently never cared about.