Friday, April 28, 2006

Random "Simpsons" movie news

The plot of "The Simpsons" movie has officially been announced! The following is a direct quote from Matt Groening:

"One writer joked that the movie was gonna be about Bart losing his virginity, and that made headlines internationally. And it was a joke. It's actually gonna be about Milhouse losing his virginity."

To see or not to see: that is the question

I'm sure by now everyone has seen some sort of advertisement for the film "United 93". This is the harrowing account of the fourth plane that crashed on September 11, not into a building like the other three, but into a field in Pennsylvania, the assholes/terrorists thwarted by the courageous actions of ordinary people. It's a compelling story. It deserves to be told. On one hand, I'm very anxious to see it, moreso after seeing this and other very positive reviews. In fact, everything I've read about the movie seem to indicate

And yet I'm bothered by it.

I don't feel, as some people apparently do, that it's "too soon". Rather, I think the thing that disturbs me is the idea of anyone profiting from the events of 9/11. I don't know what to think about the marketing of a film about a tragedy I have lived through. Is it being framed as entertainment? Not really (though as Ebert points out, the trailer does make it seem more like a conventional suspense flick).

I could wrap my head around it much more easily if I knew that all money earned on the movie would go to some sort of charitable organization: to victims' families or something. Maybe it is, but I don't know and haven't heard anything. Even though the filmmakers are taking an obvious risk here, and they seem to be driven by telling an inspiring yet human story, it's hard for me to reconcile it with the thought of people making money off tragedy.

Am I weird for thinking this way? Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Song lyric of the day:
"If I came from outer space
And you're the first thing that I see
I'd be pleased"
- People in Planes, Narcoleptic

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I hate it, but it's brilliant

If you give the slightest amount of shit about the environment, you might not like this, but you have to admit, it's brilliant. Honestly, how many people are really going to care about a wildlife refuge they're never gonna see when they have 100 smackers in their back pocket?

Song lyric of the day:
"Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a rise
It's no surprise that they're giving none away"
- Pink Floyd, Money

(Actually, Roge, apparently they are. But at what cost?)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I had to post a link to this

This is just hilarious, especially if you're both a "Seinfeld" fan and a baseball fan. Enjoy!

Song lyric of the day:
"They sue little kids downloading hit songs
They think that makes sense
When they know that it's wrong
Hey Mr. Record Man, the joke's on you
Running your label like it was 1992"
- MC Lars, Download This Song

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Know your audience

And now, a fluff piece.

A report in the Washington Post indicates that the new film "American Dreamz" bombed at the box office. And I mean really bombed. $3.7 million? That's like "Basic Instinct 2" bombed.

Call me a dork if you must, but I really want to see this movie. Its satire looks almost as amusing and biting, and its premise as delightfully cynical, as "Thank You For Smoking" (which, by the way, you should go see. Right now. The blog will be here when you get back). I was extremely tempted to go this weekend to see this. Why didn't I, you ask?

The simple answer: teenagers.

I figured (apparently incorrectly) that the theater would be mobbed with obnoxious, too-cool-for-school teenagers - like it usually is. Seriously, the theater in Oldsmar is probably the worst I've ever been to in terms of the annoying audience factor. In retrospect, I should have realized teenagers had no need to see the film when they get to see basically the same thing on Fox every week. But I digress.

The point is (you knew I'd get around to it eventually) is that the producers of "American Dreamz" should have known who they were really marketing to: not teenagers, who seem to eat up ShiTV like "American Idol", but adults who recognize the dangers underlying the popularity of a show like "American Idol". Now granted, I haven't seen the film, and it may actually do a piss poor job of satirizing "reality" TV and the country's willingness to vote on something so trivial while so few turn out for the votes that matter. But still, I stand by my point.

As a side note, I rejoice whenever a movie is rated R, because a) since life is R-rated (okay, X-rated, but you get the idea) I feel much more likely to connect with R-rated movies, and b) as mentioned above, it will skim off at least some of the teenage crowd. Actually, I think an ideal ratings system would reflect target audience moreso than age appropriateness. Frankly, movies marketed to teens, even R-rated teen sex comedies, are appropriate for the teenage mindset, whether the MPAA wants to admit it or not.

This has been yet another pointless rant brought to you by Mike.

Song lyric of the day:
"I'm a war of head versus heart
And it's always this way:
My head is weak, my heart always speaks
Before I know what it will say
And you can't find nothing at all
If there was nothing there all along"
- Death Cab for Cutie, Crooked Teeth

Saturday, April 22, 2006

In good company

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this late-breaking news.

Commentator #1: We have just received word from a Washington Post article that Amnesty International has released the final results of its death penatly challenge.

Commentator #2: Ooh, I can hardly wait.

Commentator #1: Yes, the race to put the most people to death in 2005 has been run, and the results are in. Coming in first, by a landslide, was China, who were responsible for 80 percent of the total.

Commentator #2: Amazing! That's gotta be a huge shock to the rest of the world. The People's Republic has been the model of human rights for years.

Commentator #1: You said it. The race this year was really for second, and Iran narrowly edged out Saudi Arabia 94 to 86 to take home the silver.

Commentator #2: Two more nations renowned for human rights, not to mention progressive thinking. Uncanny! I have to ask, who came in fourth?

Commentator #1: None other than the United States.

Commentator #2: The United States? Holy cow! Their citizens must be proud today to be in such lucrative company as China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

Commentator #1: Indeed they are. In fact, one citizen was so proud he decided to create two fictional sarcastic commentators to describe just how proud he is.

Commentator #2: But if he was so proud, why didn't he give us names?

Commentator #1: Well, I guess he's just lazy. And now, he's rambling.

Commentator #2: Yes he is. Hopefully he'll shut up before--

(Reader changes the channel.)

Song lyric of the day:
"Guilty as charged, but damn it, it ain't right
There is someone else controlling me
Who made you God to say
'I'll take your life from you'"
- Metallica, Ride the Lightning

Friday, April 21, 2006

Totally out of touch with reality

Now, I'm not a huge fan of bureaucracies in general, but this really pisses me off. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the FDA is totally out of touch with reality. It's just a stupid statement, and all it says is, "Hey, we're totally out of touch with reality."

I so wanna rip the FDA a new one. Actually, I'd rather they just spend an hour in a cancer ward, and then look me straight in the eye and tell me that the possibility of a few more teenagers who are already going nowhere in life getting high isn't worth it to alleviate even an ounce of that suffering.

Souder's comment is equally moronic. Have you seen what other pain-killers (morphine a.k.a. heroin-lite, dilaudid, etc.) do? The same goddamn thing.

Get off your high horses, you idiots. Legalize medical marijuana.

(Can you tell this struck a nerve? :-P)

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Science of Damn

Well, as promised nearly a month ago, here's another song. I'm not really sure it ended up sounding worth a damn (no pun intended) but I'm ready to have it behind me. I guess it's some weird form of closure that should have happened a long time ago. Who knows?

In an odd way, this may be the most honest song I've ever written. Or maybe not. All I know is, I feel it whenever I sing the title.

As always, feedback welcome and encouraged.

"The Science of Damn"

I was a ghost
And you were an angel
Someone warned me you were danger
But I didn't listen
'Cause I wasn't trying to get her in bed

When I played the clown
You were the laughter
What happened to our ever after?
Maybe it never existed outside your head

I've done research into the science of damn
But I'm not ready for the final exam
Was it all a waste of time?

I was in Hell
And you were the devil
Couldn't keep it on the level
I saw you get down on your knees
But not to pray

I told a lie
At least you were honest
I guess we never made any promise
So I wasn't really betrayed
But you know I'm always gonna feel that way

And since then I've studied the science of damn
I started early but I still have to cram
You were just a waste of time

I couldn't tell if your heart was broken
But that's what I'll always be hoping
At least it would mean I wasn't just some other guy

I lost a year
But we lost a future
Some wounds cut too deep to suture
But that doesn't mean I won't try

My PhD is in the science of damn
I'd rip it to shreds, but it's become who I am
Was I just a waste of time?

You gave me lessons in the science of damn
But at least I'm free to live my life on the lam
Was it all a waste of...
You were not a waste of time

And this is the last song I'm writing for you
This is the last song I'm writing for you
This is the last song I'm writing...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The tragedy of partisanship

When I saw this article in yesterday's Washington Post, I immediately thought of Jonathan. I wish I could remember the specifics of his encounters with Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) while working on the Hill, but the one thing I do remember is he spoke of him in a very positive light. Positive enough that, though I was previously unfamiliar with the Rhode Island Senator, I have never since forgotten his name. (Though I suppose one could argue it's hard to forget a name like Lincoln Chafee. But I digress.)

Apparently, Chafee is finding it difficult to woo, of all things, Republican support in his largely Democratic state. And listen to his reasoning: "They support the president on everything."

Yes, Chafee is one of those Republicans bold enough not to blindly follow the party line, and apparently it's costing him. He had the guts to oppose the Iraq war and domestic wiretapping because he believes in conservative values. Yes, not Republican values; conservative values.

You remember conservatism, right? That old, simple belief that too much government was a bad thing. That belief that the Republican party used to espouse. Well, guess what, sports fans: the current incarnation of the Republican party is far from conservative. The government's power has inflated massively since 2000. And "conservatives" have let it. Hell, they've supported it. And meanwhile, quite ironically, it looks like liberals, who by definition should favor larger government, are going to be the ones that have to reign in the sprawling tendrils of executive power that those of us with eyes see sneaking in through our windows and under our doors.

But again, I digress. My point is, the Republican party is not the place for a true conservative. Chafee likely knows this. But he probably also knows it's the only place where true conservatives can hope to have a shot at winning. That is the tragedy of the two-party system. And the tragedy of partisanship is that "maverick" Senators like Lincoln Chafee, who simply dare to look closer at each issue and make a decision based on their personal values and beliefs, lose out as a result. And maybe so do we.

Song lyric of the day:
"Some things that were said
Nothing's gonna change that
Some things you can't explain
Like why we always play to conventional wisdom
In a world that's just so unconventional"
- Built to Spill, Conventional Wisdom

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I have nothing to say.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Living without DeLay

So it appears my former congressman, Tom DeLay, will be stepping down due to numerous ethical troubles. According to the Post and doubtless other sources, polls suggested DeLay's fight this year might be closer than any he has fought before (the previous closest being his "narrow" victory of 60% in 2004). I have lived in that district and can safely say that is utter bullshit; the people there would likely vote for a tree before voting for anyone without an "R" by their name.

Do I honestly need to recount DeLay's missteps? I could rant for hours, but I'll spare you all. Suffice to say, every week the Houston Chronicle printed major votes that had happened in Congress, usually 4 or 5 a week from the House. I think I agreed with DeLay twice. In two years.

However, someone still residing in that district (for whom I feel much pity) made a good point. Certain corruption and ridiculously narrow-minded partisanship aside, the one thing you can say about DeLay is he got things done for his district. They wanted an even more Republican state than they already had, even though such gerrymandering was blatantly partisan and unethical? Done. They want to interfere as much as possible in people's lives as long as wallets remain untouched? Tom DeLay was their man.

Yes, he got things done. They were just generally the wrong things.

Well, I guess if nothing else, I admit the man was a supporter of the space program. Granted that's likely only due to its obvious political gains, but I wanted to give the man his very small due.

So sayonara, Tommy boy. Can't say I'm sorry to see you go.

Song lyric of the day:
"You've got it all wrong
You can't get it right
Why don't you come down from off my back?
And won't you get yourself a job somewhere away from me?
'Cause I don't want you to see your face anymore"
- Archers of Loaf, Wrong

Sunday, April 02, 2006

July 27, 2007 just became the greatest day in history...

...for that is the day "The Simpsons" movie will hit theaters. This according to an ad during tonight's episode. Supposedly, teaser trailers also appeared before select showings of "Ice Age 2" this past weekend. Either way, this will certainly be the cinematic masterpiece of our lifetimes. I can't wait.

So let me get this straight...

I get in last night around 3 after a long four-hour drive hoping to get a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep and still start my day before noon. But instead I actually got in at 4 and now after my restful night's sleep I'm drinking coffee after noon, which I haven't done since me and D used to make weekly Starbucks trips, and I'm eating breakfast at lunchtime and have approximately 6 hours of daylight to get something accomplished today. And all because of a ridiculously antiquated system that requires 48 states plus parts of Indiana to change their clocks because the government tells them to. Does that about sum it up?

Thanks. Just clarifying.

Stupid Daylight Savings Time...

Song lyric of the day:
"Love is somewhere in between
What you believe and what you dream"
- Teitur, You're the Ocean