Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Highlight from post-SOTU Instant Messaging

DCeiver: Nice to know that president Bush has taken a firm stand: "No! To the Island of Dr. Moreau!"

AMC: EXACTLY

AMC: NO ANIMAL HUMAN HYBRIDS

AMC: such a bold stand

AMC: WHAT ABOUT REX?

AMC: he deserves to be cloned

DCeiver: I figured: this guy's seen March of the Penguins and maybe think with a few tweaks we can live for three months without food while warming each other with body heat. Intelligent design and all.

DCeiver: It's Rex's dream.

AMC: he was best part of the speech

DCeiver: I'd like to clone Sam Alito's wife and make super absorbent tissues from her body.

DCeiver: She's so dewy.

Hey, hey now. This is much ado about nothing.

The first article I have ever read on Pitchfork is this one they have on The Cloud Room, "The Smash That Wasn't." The substance of the article was mildly interesting for the close-up view of the life of one of those thousands of bands hovering on the outskirts of awareness, and the good intentions that lead to unfortunate mistakes as they struggle from semi-semi-obscurity to semi-obscurity. Note that I say "the substance of the article" was interesting--there was a story in there somewhere. The writing was some of the most god-awful doggerel I've ever seen.

But, I followed the story deep down into Pitchforks trendoid, blank-stare of a maw and discovered that at the end of Pitchfork's alimentary canal lay the beginning of Gothamist's. Now, I feel like a twice-shit coffee bean, and all I can say is: "For what?"

I've got nothing against The Cloud Room, y'all, but all of you people who have somehow gotten it into your head that the song is in any way more than average on the Catchy Pop Song index are fucking kidding yourselves! News Flash! The song is kinda okay! Not bad! Shows promise! Needs work but a good start! All you people have seriously chomped the lotus on this one. Get some perspective, and realize that there's no way on earth that this modest musical offering should have provoked all of the idiotic ego spasms (Chris Ott, whoever the Sam Hell diddly-poo fuck you think you are, I'm looking at you).

Seriously. Of all the tunes to get so worked up about.

(Go ahead and listen to the inoffensive, decent song "Hey Hey Now." It's not the life-changing masterstroke of a hit single everyone thinks it is, is it?)

Well, buses do use an awful lot of oil...

This item from Pardon The Interruption tonight is, as the philosophers say: "fucking priceless."

Today, Pittsburgh Steeler running back Jerome Bettis was offered the Key To The City from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. It was the first time in 26 years that a single individual was offered the key to Detroit. Who, you might ask, was the last person to be given the Key To the City of Detroit?

Saddam Hussein!

Damn! How you like that? Soon after he became the President of Iraq, Hussein was given the key by Father Jacob Yasso of the Sacred Heart Chaldean Church, after Hussein donated monies to pay off his church's massive debt. Here's what's awesomely hilarious: Hussein was, at that time, made a honorary citizen of Detroit. Paging Ramsey Clark! If I were you, I'd sue for a change of venue and take my chances with a jury from D-Town.

Of course, this raises a ton of questions. Was Devil's Night the inspiration for setting the oil fields ablaze? Did he offer his opinion on CAFE standards? And was his descent into despotism started due to being exposed to Dynamite Hack Mitch Albom?

One question we can answer: What the hell was Saddam Hussein doing in the United States? Oh, you silly, stupid American! Saddam and the United States used to be bestest friends forever and for life, and, like most BFF's we totally sold him some absotively fetch weapons and trained him up on how to gas Kurds!

He's the same boy we've always known--well I guess you haven't grown.


The DCeiver receives an advance copy of tonight's SOTU address.

"My fellow Americans. As you know, we are at war with a deadly enemy. A whole mess of evildoers. An enemy that presents a constant danger, at least when I need you to support the Patriot Act. And if not, then it's an enemy that we have on the run. Many are on the run in Iraq, the central front in the war on terror. Some are on the run for elected office in the Palestinian territories, apparently. But I don't want to focus on that. Even though it's also an example of democracy on the march. I really didn't like them using the whole blue-tipped finger thing, to be frank. That was my idea. My one idea.

But we are facing a deadly enemy that wants to hit us again. And hit us hard. And as President, I've got to stop all the hitting. We celebrate tonight the confirmation of Justice Ah-leet-toe. He's going to be a powerful ally in the war on terror. Because he's going to let me hit whoever I want, wherever I want, and he's going to let me listen to the private phonecalls of people I'm thinking of hitting. Plus, he loves him some wombs. In a major way. Choosing the right people for the Supreme Court is an important part of my job. At least that's what I heard. Plus, these confirmations are the only legislative victories I've been able to achieve since I got re-elected. So, I've got to get me some more of them.

That's why I want to bring something up with the American people tonight. Tomorrow, in the New York Times, you are going to hear that I have authorized the Department of Homeland Security to administer a dose of rat poison to Justice John Paul Stevens. Now, I know that some of you out there are going to hear this and start asking a whole lot of questions about committing an impeachable offense and saying that I've overreached and bitching about how Justices have lifetime appointments. I'm sure that some of the Democrats are going to be upset. Except for Joe Lieberman. He'll be cool with it. We like to hug and kiss each other. In a purely non-homo way.

But I'm sure that some Senate Democrat--I'm looking at you, Chuckie--is going to be all pissy about the separation of powers and stuff. You see, I'm not a big fan of the separation of powers. I don't think it's right to separate powers. You see, I prefer that powers all be blended into a delicious frappe of executive priviledge. And believe me, the people who appointed themselves to high positions in my White House all agree. You have to remember your history, you see. And while I hear an awful lot about the Constitution, I remember history. I remember a movie called Ghostbusters. And in that movie, the ghostbusters thought it would be bad to cross the streams and combine their powers. But in the end, the only way they could defeat the evildoers were to cross the streams. And they beat those ghosts. Kicked their ghost ass. See, I remember our nation's great history and the outstanding vision of our legendary ghostbusters. Even the black fella who joined the ghostbusters late was cool with the whole crossing the streams thing.

I submit to you, America, that if we had been allowed to cross the streams before 9-11, 9-11 would never have happened. Except, you know, on the calendar. You can't just skip days on the calendar. Believe me, I've tried. Not a day goes by that I don't think, "Damn, when is this Presidency gonna be over! I got brush to clear!"

But I digress. Look. I understand that some people are going to look at my decision to feed Justice Stevens some rat poison and create another empty seat on the court as extreme. I can tell you, though, the idea to poison Justice Stevens comes from people that I trust. I trust them. And they trust me. They wouldn't bring me these great ideas if they didn't trust me. And you know who I trust? I trust the American people. You see? My advisors trust me, and I trust you, therefore, my advisors trust you and you trust them. That's called the Transitive Theory of Equality and that's mathetamatics. That's trigonomentos. Science and stuff. So you can believe that.

Many of you will question, "Is poisoning Justice Stevens the right thing to do?" I believe it is. Remember, I told you that we are at war with an evil enemy, who wants to do all that hitting and bombing and stuff. We are facing a constant threat. And as someone once said: "Loose lips sink ships." Now, I've already given myself the power to make sure I can listen to all the loose lips. I don't want to have sinking ships on my hands. So, I listen to the loose lips. I've got a little room right off the Oval Office. I've got some headphones. And when I'm not listening to my iTunes, I'm listening to the loose lips. I hear what the loose lips are saying. Frankly, I don't like what they are saying one bit. And neither would the American people. Really. You should hear some of the stuff the loose lips are saying about you. You'd be quite offended.

So, thanks to all my wiretaps, I've got the loose lips on lockdown. But, there's something else that the people who say "Loose lips sink ships" say about sinking ships, sunk because of loose lips. And that is: "Rats abandon a sinking ship." Now, you can imagine how this makes me feel. Here I am, barely enough hours in the day to keep track of all the loose lips, and here, over the side of ships, are rats, abandoning it. It makes me mad. It makes me want to say, "Hey. Rats. Go ahead and get off the ship if you want. But at least tell us that the loose lips have sunk this ship. Just hollaback, okay. Tell me there's a hole. I've got cronies that are assigned to fix the hole. You know, just give us a heads up." But those rats never do give you a heads up, and they abandon the ship that's being sunk by loose lips.

So when trusted advisors tell me that we need to give Justice Stevens some rat poison, it just fits right in with my thinking. Rat poison means we have a rat. A rat abandons a sinking ship. And loose lips sink ships. But I say, poisoned rats have tight lips, and tight lips float ships, and floaty ships can carry a lot of oil. Teenage wasteland.

Now, it seems that everytime I try to do something to kill rats or listen to loose lips, someone out there in the media wants to say I've committed a crime and make some big Federal case out of it or something. It doesn't make sense. I'm the one who needs to stop all the rats and the lips, plus all the hurricanes and floods--which, in my defense, at least helped to float some ships. Many of them, far, far inland. We must do whatever it takes.

I've done nothing wrong by poisoning Justice Stevens. And I've repeatedly said, if I was committing a crime, why would I tell Congress? I wouldn't! And, look, I'm telling Congress about what I 'm doing. I'm telling them right now! Look! Congress is right there! Olly olly oxen free! No backsies!

Now, I don't know if this explanation is going to sit well with everyone. I understand that some of you require that my decisions are backed by some sort of Constitutional authority. That's why I've asked my very own Constitutional authority, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, to briefly explain all the legal underpaintings to my decision. Speedy? Go ahead and hit it."

"Uhm. Because the President wants to."

"All right! Thank ya, A-Gon! Now, if that wasn't clear and concise reasonage, then I don't know what is.

Look. I want the American people to know that my decision to feed rat poison to Justice Stevens was not one I took lightly. Nobody wants to have to do these kinds of things, but I have to make the hard decisions. Justice Stevens was a good man, but he's a product of a pre-9/11 world. He was appointed by Ford for Pete's sake, and now, like Ford, I'm laying him off. And in return, we're going to get the American people a Supreme Court that's much more agile in it's ability to respond to terrorist threats by staying out of they way. Try not to think of this as the loss of a Supreme Court Justice, but as a victory in the war on terror.

And if any of you still think that killing Justice Stevens with rat poison wasn't very compassionate, well, the jokes on you, because we used a feeding tube. Good night America, and God Bless 9/11."

Alito confirmed.

Well, the pageantry of Supreme Court confirmation hearings is over, and Alito staggers to a confirmation by a final score of 58 to 42. This is one of those things that was more or less destined to happen, especially after the American Bar Association deemed Alito sufficiently qualified. Commander Cuckoo Bananas may have famously given the ABA the Heisman due to their penchant for applying "thinking" to the process of independent analysis, which doesn't sit well with Bush's preference for extreme tautological "believing" in the face of any and all evidence to the contrary, but no one saw him running away from the ABA when they made their proclamation either.

Meanwhile, the Democrats arrive on the day of the State of the Union with 69% of the people feeling like they lack a clear agenda. I guess their Alito approach: "We like abortions and Constitutional limits to this asswipe President's power" didn't exactly blow people away with it's innovative thinking. Of course, everyone in the world has remarked on the almost iconic irony of John Kerry leading the filibuster charge from the Swiss alps. Lots of Americans would have probably liked to have seen Kerry demonstrate some political courage while running for President, but I guess he's more of an away player. The Grenoble Biathletes For Truth had better watch their ass, though, that's for sure.

I guess, if you want to sum up the opposition's brilliance, you can look no further than Patrick Leahy, who strangely defended Harriet Miers with his last ounce of breath. Believe me, I understand why the Democrats wanted Miers in that confirmation hearing instead of Alito. I'm sure that the Pittsburgh Steelers would prefer that the Seahawks started Seneca Wallace at QB this Sunday. But at a time where the word "crony" makes people reach for their steel as it conjures up images of Michael Brown diddling with restaurant ratings as people drowned in New Orleans, defending the hilariously unqualified Bush buddy is such a desperate measure that it's a miracle 69% of those polled don't think you are out and out crazy.

Entertainment Weekly Breaks New Ground in the Photography of African-American Men

Tight shot on face. We get it. Edgy. But next time, at least throw in a little stigmata or something...you know--for the kids.

DCeptette: They Call Me Milk Version

  1. The day has finally arrived. New Wonkette. Massive site redesign that feels like an homage to Deadspin. Luckily, my favorite page is still intact. Welcome, David and Alex, and remember, Ana always thought that linking to me was the best part of her day! [Wonkette]
  2. Mike Grass reveals that he once danced the Letter to the Editor tango with fellow Wolverine Jessica Coen. Hot! Blogebrity babies at play in the fields of Ann Arbor! All of which leads me to ask several pointed questions. Did any University ever boast such literary titans as Goodspeed and Grass? Do all Michigan women look as fly as Jessica Coen and Shayna? And, most importantly: why didn't I go to Michigan? The answer to the last question mainly being: 1) several thousand dollars I didn't have to spend, 2) a few notches higher in the academic rankings I got to enjoy, and 3) say what you want, but at least our basketball players could count up the number of time outs they had remaining. [Washington Oculus]
  3. The former DCSOB lays the ANWR debate as bare as it gets. [Thrown for a Loop]
  4. DCist predicts a coming atrocity. [DCist]
  5. Sounds like the start of an awesome new fetish group! [Craigslist]

Monday, January 30, 2006

The 24gasm: 11:00 am

  1. So, the terror attack at the Ontario airport is thwarted, but of course, only we know for certain that the whole thing was a big distraction, and now the fake hostage has taken the terror handoff and has avoided detection. Some questions: how is it that Jack didn't take more immediate steps to corral that guy? How did he slip past CTU in the first place? And, given that the Ontario airport is about 35 minutes on the I-10 to central Los Angeles, is it all realistic to expect the CTU guys to get back to headquarters by the time this episode is over?
  2. I guess that Los Angeles SWAT teams aren't a very tight knit bunch, otherwise they'd recognize the fake SWAT team on sight. As it is, the terrorists cart their nerve gas out of the airport after briefly checking in with the authorities to say, "Yeah, hey! We're the SWAT guys that were covering the other side of the airport where nothing was going on! Don't worry, we made sure that nothing that wasn't already not going on didn't start!" Puzzled by the heavy dose of double negatives, the terrorists escaped.
  3. Watching Curtis swing into action, I realize then and there that when people consider whether a career in Federal Law Enforcement is right for them, there's one perk above all the others that stands out as the chief reason to join up: getting to ride on the sides of vehicles. Tell me I'm wrong!
  4. Curtis explores Hidden Nerve Gas Hangar and discovers the decaying corpses of several dead rats. So, whatever it is that the terrorists stole, let's get some of that up to Adams Morgan, pronto.
  5. Dude, one of the two Secret Service agents looks like Harry Belafonte! Total shout out to George Bush being the greatest terrorist! Actually, in all seriousness, as much as a dislike the Bush Presidency, he hasn't done the world nearly as much harm as a movie that his daughter starred in, titled If You Could See What I Hear. So worst! Please note: George Bush is slated to exceed the harm done by If You Could See What I Hear in April of this year, so, look for that.
  6. So the big evil guy (who will secretly turn out to be not as big as an even bigger evil guy) appears to be using the set of the Coldplay video "Speed of Sound" as his base of operations.
  7. So, this is the episode where we once again experience the trope of "There's a Mole in the CTU." Only this year, the only way it would be more obvious that it was Spencer Wolf were if he was covered in moles, shown cooking his special Mole sauce, and depicted travelling to work by burrowing underground.
  8. I love how they are calling the fauz-hostage, "The Man In The Yellow Tie". You'd think that in terrorist school, when they teach you how to be a faux-hostage, they tell you things like, "Do not wear any particularly outlandish pieces of clothing." Anyway, shout-out to Curious George's The Man in the Yellow Hat!
  9. Hot Chloe gives Spencer the Wolfmole a patented dose of the O'Brian bipolar charm. He totally deserves it, too. Because he's Moley McMole. He's the weremole. He's a little rat-like, rodentsome man.
  10. Edgar is all Moany McCriesalot as he watches Chloe flit around doing important shit with Jack on one hand and putting Molar Moleman in his place with the other. He wants to know her secrets. Dude, you ask for one night of drunken abandon with Chloe O'Brian, and I guarantee you that you only SCRATCH THE SURFACE of her secrets. Such is her hottness.
  11. Spencer Moledyoldmole goes into thwart Jack mode, and at first, we're thinking: "You've gotta be kidding me!" There's no way this skinny little ass-machine kills Jack! That'd be like checkers killing chess! But as it turns out, he's just being used to open up a means of entry for somebody else to attempt a Jack-whack. What a pussymole.
  12. Connie Britton and her 25 year old teenage son Derek enter the CTU compound. Derek is immediately routed to medical, where people only die. Connie is due to be interrobanged by Awkwardrey Raines, whose thoughts betray such an intense carnality at the prospect of Jack that you'd think she was about to tongue her way out of a soft-serv icecream prison.
  13. Connie: "I accepted [Jack] for who he was." Yes...but that was before he made that awful Japanese energy drink commercial!
  14. Dude: Division Director Samwise and Jack Bauer are so same-paging it this episode that it's a thing beauty. At this rate, Samwise is going to be named Guy From Division Who Came And Was In Charge Of CTU For A Short Time Of the Year.
  15. Jack gets tetchy over Akwardrey interrobanging Connie, and rushes off to intervene. Arriving outside the room, Awkwardrey runs out. Throughout the scene, I describe the interplay between Jack, Connie and Awkwardrey as the Three-Way Facial Kabuki.
  16. Why is it that the people who are asked to guard the CTU facility are dressed like bellhops?
  17. Oh, Hot Chloe. What is it that you saw in Spencer, the Patsy Mole Loser who would dare to thwart Jack? Whatever happened to that nice Lukas Haas character who shared your penchant for awkwardness and computer whizbangery and whose life you saved by begging Jack to help? A fitter match, methinks.
  18. Evelyn, the personal assistant the Martha Logan, may have been unfairly browbeaten in the last episode, but you have to understand, she's a typical Beltway bureaucrat, totally useless and unable to answer a direct question if her life depended on it. I sure hope that something interesting is going to develop with her character at some point, because Joel Surnow--magnificent bastard--usually bangs and then subsequently casts actresses who are a whole lot better looking to fill out the supernumeraries.
  19. Okay, Chloe got totally personal in that interrogation of Spencer. It's a testament to the working relationship she's developed with Bill Buchanan that he didn't chase her out of the room.
  20. Here's this season's Officially Going Nowhere Storyline: FLOTUS on the Lam! Like Kim on the lam, only saggier and less able to escape LA's rampant cougar population.
  21. Well, for everyone playing the "Means by Which Jack Bauer, Efficient Killing Machine, Disposes of his Enemies" Bingo game at home, you can now officially fill in the square marked "Scissors."
  22. "Knifefight in the Infirmary" was at one point a working title for a Mars Volta album. The more you know!
  23. CTU's official medical officer, Doctor Paulson is dead! A). Don't you think that it's only fitting that Doctor Paulson dies considering the horrible health care he's dispensed throughout the years? B). Weren't you half hoping that when news of his death broke throughout CTU, that everyone who worked there took just a minute to stand up at their stations and yell: "His name was Doctor Paulson!" Tyler Durden in effect, yo.
  24. So Spencer Mole, who's got to be cognizant of how lucky he is that he's not dead right now, gives up the White House and Walt "not Related to Alan" Cummings. Of course, we see from next week that Jack and Mike Novick (he of the unluckiest government career in history) are going to get nabbed by the Secret Service. But probably not for long.

Six Of One And A Half Dozen Of The Other

POTPOURRI

1. Deadspin
As Lockhart Steele as my witness, I have long loved me some Deadspin. The fact that they've broken through the fortified hegemony that is sportswriting so quickly, garnering praise and attracting devotees, is a really wonderful thing. They've done it by leveraging the ill-tempered humor of the outsider crank that exists in all sportsfans, and have probably brought not a few folks who long thought sports were beneath them into the fold. Of course, former Black Tabler Will Leitch is a seriously good writer and, like us, lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fans. But then we saw his picture in the New York Times this weekend, took measure of his handsome countenance, a unique combination of Ben Gibbard and Steve McQueen, and thought to ourself, "He must have to beat the pussy off of him with a stick!" Kudos, Will, and read Wizznutz.

2. "Snakes on a plane" enters the lexicon.
And smartly, I might add. See The Upstate Life for details.

3. Winter Olympics approach
Or, as I like to call them, The Dangerous Olympics. Seriously. You start with the premise that extreme weather is a sporting condition that deserves special attention. Then you add a bunch of sports, all of which are such that you could fuck yourself up very badly for life if you screw up, and then finally, you add guns and weed. Track and field: so for pussies.

4. Seriously, even curling.
Many a back were a-thrown out lifting them thar pucks. Or whatever the fuck you call them.

5. I'm totally feeling you...
...Dude who writes SkeetOnWilla. Right now, there's a tiny open window for someone to drop some I Am A Bird Now science on the Americal Idol world. I was so hoping that one of those zaftig, gender-optional contralto freakazoids on bust some AT and the J science on those dipshits. It was way too much to hope for, but had it happened, it would have definitely been Fistful Of Best.

6. Nate Newton
How fricking awesome is it that Nate Newton wanted his name to be synonymous with high quality weed? Let's face it, steady pot use and grand ambition usually doesn't go together. Here's hoping that loadies nationwide salt their terminology with Newtonisms. "Man, I got a dime of Nate Newton, let's meet behind the dumpster after auto-shop and pull over right tackle." And then if someone accidentally drops the bong, motherfuckers can rag him by saying: "Dude! Ineligible man downfield." Of course, holding would still be a penalty.

POPOZAO

1. James Frey
Don't you kinda feel sorry for the ferocity with which Frey was publicly excoriated on Oprah? Nah, me neither. I was just saying the other day that I wished that I had written something down on paper many years ago, so I could pull it out now. What I wished I had written down years ago? Seven words. "This James Frey dude is fucking bullshit." I didn't go out and get A Million Little Pieces then, and I never ever gave reading it serious consideration because I thought the guy was a fucking con artist from jump. There wasn't anything about his story that rang true to me, and I learned long ago that anyone stupid enough to tattoo "Fuck The Bull Shit It's Time To Throw Down" on his body was a chump and joke and deserving of in-your-face derision and mockery right then and there. I wish I had written this shit down. You'll just have to take my word for it. Nevertheless, fuck him and fuck him again.

2. Samuel Alito
Well, he's getting confirmed. Sorry. My only wish is that he should, at the very least, have to endure an ex parte session with a drunk John Riggins. Some say Sandra Day's rulings got a lot better after receiving his famous advice.

3. K-Fed
Kevin, man. You should listen to what the world's telling you. That Popozao shit is the wackness, bro. I mean, it officially buries the hip-hop limbo bar six feet in the ground. If we just fucking let you have a career, it sets a bad precedent. We won't be able to stop Kirstie Alley's neo-soul album. Nothing will stand in the way of Jenna Bush releasing her line of urban combatwear. We just cannot allow you to happen. And we're pulling out all the stops: mocking your in-studio rocking out, having James Lipton read your lyrics aloud. It won't stop there Kevin. You're being done a favor, dude. We're pre-emptively Oprahing you. Learn from this, and take heart, man, because you've got those indestructible sperm to fall back on. What you have tipping those things? Depleted uranium? Because those motherfuckers are bunker busting wonders of nature.

4. Speaking of K-Fed
You saw it in Federline's studio, and if you've ever watched an episode of Cribs you've seen it there, too: you walk in to any of these pop-music ass-clowns place and they've got their fucking home studio--gear that'd go along way to helping many a struggling good artist make a great record--and along one wall they've got a rack of expensive guitars, and you know that none of these bitches could get beyond three elementary chords if their lives depended on it. Just once, wouldn't you like one of MTV's producers to demand: "Hey smart guy. Pick up that axe and play it. Play it! Play it, you phony motherfucking phony-ass phony!" I know I would.

5. Test Icicles--For Screening Purposes Only
The worst record of 2006 so far.

6. Waiting until 1/27 to throw out your Christmas tree.
Just shameful.

The 24gasm: 10:00am

  1. You know, it's episodes like this one that remind me of the saying that I like to pass along to the little children of the world, who are growing up in a world that they are trying to make sense of...looking for happiness and fulfillment...trying to carry a little piece of their childhood into their adult years. And that saying is this: An assault plan without Jack Bauer is like a day withotu sunshine. Remember that.
  2. Speaking of, Jack Bauer is held at gunpoint and asked about CTU's plans and again I'm surprised that no one in the 24verse considers outright lying. Just lie, Jack! Just lie, President Logan! Just lie, Secretary Heller's loony-ass son! Just lie! Of course, it occurs to me now that everyone's basic willingness to tell the truth is what keeps the universe of 24 together. If just one terrorist suspect had simply said: "Duluth! The bomb's in Duluth! Please don't hurt me!", the ticking timebomb would have counted down and America would be irradiated and overrun with deadly viruses.
  3. As Derek watches another person take his place as the hostage on the business end of a loaded gun, one wonders--what will the survivor's guilt do to Derek? Besides fuel his carnal passions as he bangs Kim Bauer within an inch of her life, I mean.
  4. So, if we haven't already figured out that the hostage-taking was a huge distraction, we know from Walt's moley actions that this is the case. Dude. How is it happened that our Presidential staffs are littered with moles and crazy first-ladies and drama queens? Every single administration fraught with betrayals and double-dealers and rapidly tilting axes of trust? Makes you wonder what that one Secret Service agent who's been with us since the beginning likes so damn much about the job that he chooses to stay.
  5. CTU loses contact with Jack. After all they've been through, it makes you wonder why CTU just doesn't have a "We've Lost Contact With Jack" protocol that they use. It's one of the things they should have learned by now.
  6. Jack tells CTU that he's in a flank 2 position. And that he'll buy everyone flank steaks. Two flank steaks. Flank 2. A flank 2 postion. Flank you very much. Flanks for the memories. Flanks especially for the memories that this is probably a duress phrase.
  7. President Logan wants to know why it's going to take so long for CTU to get in position for the assault. "Sir, because we need to offer several sixty second shouts-out to our sponsors."
  8. Here's something that bugs me. Why don't terrorists, when they are talking with each other, speak in a normal tone of voice. I understand that when they are on camera, threatening the world, or trying to cow hostages, they need to adopt a vocal affectation that's deep and dark and sinister and dangerous and loaded with dramatic tension. But when they're just exchanging information as colleagues, why do they talk as if they are trying to scare each other? It doesn't make any sense. If you are reading from work, try this: go over to a colleague with instructions or questions like: "I need to have the notes from the last meeting copied and collated" or "Can you proofread the brochure copy" or "When are the materials for the board book due?" But this time, affect the tone of a sinister terrorist. Go ahead and try it. I'll wait. Back? Good! Now, how fired are you?
  9. Martha Logan stuffs the folded up transcript into her bra. I guess her breast is her secret weapon.
  10. For those of you who are outside the beltway, feeling bad the way Walt the Mole is treating the First Lady's assistant, and wonder why she doesn't speak up, you need to realize that these sorts of interactions stem from a long tradition of browbeating underlings that goes on here in Washington.
  11. Kiefer sounds so upbeat in that Mac commercial that rips off the Postal Service. I'm not used to happy Kiefer.
  12. Another protocol that should have been instituted at CTU long ago, by the way: Nobody Goes Into That Computer-Inner-Sanctumy-Room By Themselves Anymore Directive. Because that room is always ground zero for Moley Goodness.
  13. Division Director Samwise asks to take a look at all the transcripts from CTU's contact with Jack, which means this will be a race against time as Samwise reads, looking for the clue that tells him that Jack is being held hostage. Read, Samwise, read! Send an important stay-in-school message!
  14. A striking contrast to the pathetic Washington underlings and their browbeatability is Chloe, who just doesn't care enough about politeness to not get wonderfully short with people. That's just one of the reasons she's Hot Chloe this season.
  15. I love this part where CTU wants to buy time and the President's people say that there's absolutely no way to stall the President's remarks. That's just the craziest thing I've ever heard. Dude, tune in to CNN the next time you're anticipating hearing the President say something intended for broadcast. Presidential speeches NEVER start on time. There's ALWAYS room to stall. You can spend time shaking hands, waving to cameras. You can add back five extra minutes of remarks. You can just fucking sit off camera, drinking a Nehi. The certainty with which CTU was told it couldn't happen just made me laugh out loud.
  16. Jack speaks again to CTU: "And remember, I am in a Flank 2 position. I can't stress that enough. I hope that I can impress upon you the Flank Twoness of my current existence. Flank the monkey. You flank my battleship. Flank MacNamara. Name, flank, and serial number. My serial number, by the way? Two."
  17. The terrorists announce their 60 second deadline, which, as you'll see, won't be bound by the supposed real-time constraints of the show.
  18. And, just in the nick, Samwise scoots downstairs and tells everyone that he's solved the Flank Two mystery! Then, just to show that he's the man, he sacks the Georgia Tech quarterback on the last play of the game.
  19. Another protocol that should have been instituted at CTU that we'll keep a close eye on this season: The "Everytime Our Field Agents Walk Into an Otherwise Anonymous Looking Los Angeles Office Building Everyone Always Ends Up Getting Killed" Protocol, that stipulates that otherwise anonymous looking Los Angeles office buildings will always be entered by three staggered waves of field agents so that everyone that Jack takes with him has a fighting chance of making it out alive.
  20. Discuss: if you could go back in time and make sure Sean Astin was cast in The Lost Boys instead of Corey Haim, you would totally do that, wouldn't you?
  21. Also discuss: wouldn't it be awesome if Connie Britton was part of the evil masterplan, like uber-blonde Muslim terrorist from the second season?
  22. Another protocol that should have been instituted at CTU: The Since Everytime Jack Bauer Gets Arrested It Turns Out To Be A Really Bad Idea Even If It Seems Like The Right Thing To Do At The Time Let's Stop Arresting Jack So That People Don't Keep Dying Unnecessarily.
  23. What the fuck is this shit? Nerve gas? Gosh. After everything we've been through with this show, nerve gas seems so prosaic. But I have to ask, why the fuck are they storing nerve gas at the Ontario airport?
  24. You might feel bad for Martha Logan, who is assaulted and chloroformed by Walt the Mole, but trust me, there isn't a Presidential advisor in history who hasn't at some point wanted to do that to the first lady.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

DCeptette: Always Twirling, TWIRLING! Version

  1. Paging The Governess: Seriously--Joint liveblogging of opening night of Snakes On a Plane. Surely Tommy can build the technology. Let's do this.
  2. A rush and a push and the land that you stand on is ours. Hey, property owners, squeeze the city for every dime you can get. [Washington Post]
  3. Question: Is it just me, or do an awful lot of places in the Washington DC area seem to be catching on fire lately? It's been nearly a decade of being back, and in all that time I can't remember a year in which so many well-known restaurants and the like have caught fire. Am I being paranoid, or at some point do we start worrying that we're living through Serial Arsonist 2: Commercial Zoning Unit?
  4. To my mind, the question isn't why should we establish a DC Olympic Team, but rather, why are we only thinking up this shit now? Of course the idea of a Washington, DC Olympic Team is awesome as hell! But just think about this: Marion Barry in his heyday+the events that inspired the movie Cool Runnings=the hotness of a thousand supernovas!! Frealsies, could there be a BETTER reason to start building the wayback machine right now? [DCist]
  5. "Writing this blog is my way of sticking it The Man." "But...you are the man." "I know." "So, you're sticking it to yourself?" "Maybe." Something smells awfully fishy. [Columbia Heights News]


Spin's BAND OF THE YEAR online poll is deeply weird and weirdly dubious, considering they've already weighed in in print and as far as I can tell, it's still only January as far as 2006 is concerned. But if you like clicking on links, then go and vote if only to ensure Art Brut doesn't lose to The Go! Team, as is currently occurring. I'm pleased to report that Feist is trouncing The Linkin Park of the Blogosphere, or as many of you call them, Wolf Parade.

The Continuing Wiretapdance.

Now, as documented here and elsewhere, the FISA laws are incredibly sufficient. The wiretap can be insituted 72 hours in advance of applying for a warrant. Those judges are on hand to authorize warrants at a moment's notice. Moreover, the law allows up to fifteen days of time to elapse between the initiation of a wiretap and the needed approval from FISA in the case of an emergency. Fifteen days. So, we can toss the ticking timebomb reasoning right out. So the FISA courts are way agile. No need to improve their agility at all. And there's no worry about judges being so exactingly circumspect that a terrorist falls through the cracks. The FISA judges have a lifetime record of turning down five applications. And even if your application gets turned down, there's a special court of appeals set up to hear your case that's been used exactly ONE time. And if two bites of the apple aren't enough, the FISA statutes give you a third: an immediate ex parte in camera (which is a lot of Latin, I know) session with the Supreme Court--and since the SCOTUS' main concern is with their judicial legacy, the chance that body is going to turn down a warrant application with even the barest, faded vestige of a whiff of propriety is absolutely nil.

--The DCeiver, "A Birthday Message", 16 January 2006


Look, I've already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the absurd contention that the legal avenues currently available under the FISA laws are insufficiently agile in combating terrorism (i.e. placing effective, comprehensive wiretaps on suspects foreign and domestic) is wrong on its face. It's wrong on the facts, wrong on the law, and the continued insistence of any party that the facts or the law do not line up with my assessment, chapter and verse, is only proof that said party is an intractable moron worthy of being tilled into compost.

But if you don't want to take my word for it, it's okay, because I found out today that my assessment has the support of a party that should serve to assuage you that what I'm saying is true:

The Bush Administration.

Go ahead and read another one of Glenn Greenwald's expert assessments.

Check and mate, my friends. Check and mate.

PS: Commander Cuckoo Bananas was at it again today, saying loony crap like, "If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" AGAIN: An illegal act cannot be transformed, as if by magic, into a legal act just because you TELL somebody. Show me in the relevant statutes where it says that the Constitution can be abridged and laws set aside just because a criminal act is pre-announced!

The 24 Album Covers

In a hilarious stroke, the always ingenious Matthew Tobey came up with several fantastic "Band Names Derived From Obscure 24 References." We hope he doesn't mind the album cover art we've worked up in our studio for a few of his hilarious creations.






Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cast Your Vote in the Bloggies

Wouldn't you like to have a hand in changing a minute detail in my resume? Well, now you can. Go and vote in the Sixth Annual Weblog Awards, and cast your vote for Wonkette in the "Best Political Weblog" Category. If enough of you do, you could be making it possible for me to change the word "nominated" to "winning," to say nothing of according me the opportunity to bask in the teeny, infintesimal sliver of adulation that I would be possibly allowed if Ana says it's okay.

Sadly, DCist garnered no nominations. Though we're certain TomCat's Christmas Party would have easily smoked the category of Best Blogger Holiday Themed Event if the category existed. However, the -IST LLC did receive four nominations, including the always critical Best Canadian Blog nod.

So, to sum up, if you love me, you'll vote Wonkette. If you don't, you should probably vote for Fire Dog Lake.

Snakes On A Plane, Revealed!

"Let me make a few things clear. I'm a Federal agent. I'm heavily armed. And if I see that Eugene Levy motherfucker up in this bitch I am gonna pop a cap in every last piece of ass I see. That goes double if any of you bring up Sphere."


Dude: 'Sup, babe. Damn, I'd sure like to get my snake...in your plane, if you know what I mean.

Stewardess: Huh? My plane?

Dude: Yeah. I was using it as a euphemism. You feeling me?

Stewardess: That's a pretty stupid euphemism. *sigh* I suppose that by "snake" you mean your cock, right?

Dude: Woah, no! No. That would constitute an inappropriate sexual advance!

Stewardess: Then what do you mean?

Dude: Look, all's I'm saying is that I would really like to take my pet garter snake and put him inside your vagina.


"DAYUM! This is some motherfucking INCONGRUOUS shit right here!"


"Man, it looks like I totally picked the wrong day to play freeze tag on an airplane!"


"Wow. Uhm, thanks. You know, I would have maybe just, you know, moved the snake. But...uhh, yeah. Yeah. Tasering my crotch. That, uhm, really seemed to do the trick there."


Stewardess: You idiot! When the passengers on flight 93 said, "Let's roll!", it was just a figure of speech!

Dude: Baby, you KNOW I gotta problem with metaphors!

"Bitch, you and the Writer's Guild of America can kiss my black ass! Now start pumping out some rewrites or I'm about open up a can of Alan Motherfuckin' Smithee all over your meticulously stored files!"

DCeptette: This Fresca is delicious version

  1. Way OT, but you just have to revel in the sight of this jackass Kevin Federline grooving out to the sound of his excremental single "PopoZao". It really is a sight to behold. As I watch K-Fed weave and twitch his hands to and fro to the music, I like to imagine that he is manipulating an invisible theremin that, instead of producing interesting Star Trek theme sounds, has been rewired to summon forth the moans of every soul in Hell shitting themselves into infinity. [YouTube]
  2. Proving once again that there is a fine line between standing up for your rights and dousing yourself in the gasoline of intractable stupidity while setting alight the Zippo of recondite obstinance. [Pygmalion in a Blanket]
  3. Maryland hoopster Chris McCray will not be playing for the Terrapins any longer because he is apparently as dumb as a box of rocks, failing to secure a GPA of 2.0 or above from the fall semester. One of the classes he apparently foundered in: Family Studies. What the everloving fuckity fuck is "Family Studies." Would it be naive to believe that the average person, armed with syllabus for this class, could easily pass the final exam after a week's worth of self-study? What is it like? Q: What is the name of the room in your house where you are most likely to find the stove? Puh to the leaze. [DCist]
  4. Shocking and sad how close Ben's Chili Bowl came to having to leave their historic storefront. Let this never, ever, happen again. [Examiner]
  5. Ezra Klein, who served as today's Wonkette-for-a-day, takes down The New Republic's latest stab at self-aggrandizing blowhardiana in hilarious fashion. On their main page, the New Republic apologizes, "...while we can't predict the future..." But if only you COULD, New Reep! If only you could. Because THAT would be unconventional. [Wonkette]


UPCOMING

The Gossip, 23 March, The Black Cat

Rock Creek Rambler discovers the killswitch for the smoking ban.

For those of you out there who decry the coming smoking ban in DC, the Rock Creek Rambler, visiting San Francisco, may have discovered an interesting loophole.

As you know, the law that is being enacted on behalf of restaurant/bar employees as a workplace safety issue. And that is precisely how the ban proponents have framed their argument.

I have tried to keep my dog firmly out of this hunt because, with few exceptions (and the Rambler has been a sterling example of the exception) I have found the proponents of both sides to be some of the most unpleasant people I have ever met. Their chief concern seems to have nothing to do with law or safety or anything else. Each side mainly wants to revel in the suffering of the other. They just plain don't like each other, and if there was ever an abhorrent position from which to craft public policy, that's it. Frankly, what I want to see banned from bars are the people who have driven this issue on each side. If the DC Council could craft a law that results in both sides losing, I would hail them as the Solons of the 21st Century.

But personally, I think the ban does publicly kickstart general wellness--a good thing when you consider how left alone and abandoned many of us are as far as finding cost-effective entrees into the health care system. True, it would mean that we shall nevermore be able to use the sidewalk on 18th Street--and non-smokers will still shy away from Adams Morgan on account of the coming cumulus nicotine clouds that will be a permanent resident of that neighborhood--but it is important in this day and age to find way to get people on a health kick. Unless we're planning on defeating terrorists with obesity.

Nevertheless, I'm the type of person who abhors a specious argument regardless of positive outcomes, and I've always found the ban proponents legalargument to be specious and disingenuous. Consider: in all the celebrating that's been done over at the DCist comment boards and similar media, most people are happy about 1) their hair and how it will smell 2) ibid. w/r/t clothing 3) sticking it to smokers 4) overcoming their deep seated anxieties long enough to enter the Pharmacy Bar 5) et cetera--there has not, to my knowledge been a single hoo-rah-ray that approximates "Yay! What a victory for restaurant and bar employees!"

Let's be honest--for ban proponents, employees were the Trojan horse that was necessary to achieve a reduction in their shampoo costs. And regardless of the potential benefit the ban could provide, this always bothered me. I interviewed a handful of servers for an article in DCist that eventually got aborted (mainly because I was one of the only ones on staff who went into bars to do the asking and remain successfully sober enough to record the responses (not naming names!)) and I found that while there are employees who abhor the ban as well as employees who look forward to it, to a person, not a single one cited cigarette smoke as one of their health concerns. (Number one answer: orthopedic injuries, obvs. The surprise major health concern? Plantar fasciitis! Who knew?)

Why should that bother you? Simple. If you expect the people who backed the smoking ban by dressing themselves up as workplace safety mavens to spend a single second of their lives working to provide comprehensive workplace safety to waiters or barstaff (or anyone else for that matter), don't bother. It's not going to happen. They got nothing fo' ya, West Virginia mining families. Very much like the anti-ban folk, deep down, their area of concern ended at the dermis' edge.

But back to the point. The RCR in SF, has discovered that clever bars have taken the employee safety angle of the law and narrowcasted it to their own advantage by doing something so brilliantly simple...so smack-the-forehead innovative...that it's breathtaking. They've gotten rid of their employees! They've simply done away with employees! It's like killing the hostage!

Do you want The Raven to remain a smokers' haven, Christopher Hitchens? Wanna stay indoors as you suck on your Kools, Julian Sanchez? Convince your local dive establishment to give everyone on their staffs an OWNERSHIP stake. Once a bar is staffed entirely by owners, instead of employees, there's no one left for the law to protect. No one remaining with the standing to sue under the law.

Don't get me wrong, it'll be so so bad for you, but the irony, like Mr. Pibb and Red Vines, is crazy delicious.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Six of One and a Half Dozen of the Other

HASSELBECK!

1. Rachel Sklar
During a Wonkette guest stint in October, Rachel Sklar and I bonded over the secret Phil Collins Code that ran like a river through the Fitzmas celebration. She's supercool, and she's leaving her little plastic castle at FishbowlNYC to run free in the world. We wish her all the best.

2. The Allen Key Don't Lie!
J. E. Skeets busts a hilarious move chronicling Rasheed Wallace's attempt to assemble a dresser from Ikea. This is especially recomendated for The Cut.

3. Elevation Burger
The suburbs, especially the ones around the UVa. northern Virginia annex, were totally killing me today. Until we stopped off and grabbed some Big Phats from Elevation Burger. Organic, grass-fed delish farmed in Warrenton, grilled up perfectly.

4. Thank You For Smoking
The only movie coming out in the near future that we're more geeked up about is Snakes On a Plane, naturally.

5. Al Twanmo
He's the effing man!

6. Who doesn't love Matt Fraction?
Surely not you!


DELHOMME!

1. Absolut Kravitz
For the connoisseur of vodka, crotch sweat and patchouli oil.

2. Emily's Reasons Why Not
They say the studio "halted production" on this show this past week. After seeing the pilot, we hope that "halted production" meant doors were broken down, CTU-stizz everyone involved was put to the blade.

3. Grocery shopping in Falls Church
Look, we know that most of you are out here, playing out the string existence-wise, but at least try to walk with a purpose and a little bit of pride! Seriously, tar pits are forming under your feet.

4. Apple fucks over the Postal Service
And, worse, makes Kiefer a party to the shame.

5. True, but Sad
And sad, but true. From the peerless Holly Martins at Wonkette.

6. The Two Jakes
Plummer saves the Broncos his most Plummerific outing for the AFC Championship, Denver naturally tanks in embarrassing fashion. Meanwhile, Delhomme never looked more like SNL's Will Forte than he did against Seattle. Enjoy the commercials, kids!

Adam Nagourney can blow it out his ass.

Glenn Greenwald does a first rate job slicing and dicing the cuckoobananas rhetoric that the Bush camp is spreading around in another attempt to deceive and inveigle and obfuscate the very real crime that has occurred with regard to the domestic wiretapping scandal. It's worth your attention, but I'll highlight one part as an extra special bonus.

Adam Nagourney, nominally a reporter for the New York Times, gives full faith and credit to an important portion of Karl Rove's recent batshittery: "Let me be as clear as I can be: President Bush believes if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why. Some important Democrats clearly disagree."

Now, one would expect a reporter to actually report fact, in this case, a central fact being that Rove's statement is wholly untrue--indeed, it's not even part of the discussion pertaining to warrantless, domestic, wiretaps. Here's how Nagourney responds:

Yet it is difficult to think of a Democrat who has actually argued that it is not "in our national security interest" to track Qaeda calls to the United States, as Mr. Rove contested; he did not offer any examples of whom he had in mind.
Simply amazing. The watered down uselessness of "Yet it is difficult to think." The feckless passivity proudly proclaimed within, "He did not offer examples of whom he had in mind."

Had I received this copy from Adam Nagourney, as his editor, I would have to immediately call him before me and inform him that he had better start fucking availing himself of the brain that God gave him or he can bloody well find a new profession. Adam, you are not paid to "think"--you are paid to report the facts. And the facts that are readily available all inexorably and inalterably state that Rove, in making the pronouncement, is either stupid or lying. Those are your only two choices, Adam. You can say one or the other. Those are the only two conclusions supported by the facts.

This is what "fair and balanced" means. Knowing full well Rove hasn't a leg to stand on, Nagourney makes sure everyone else's legs are chopped off at the knee.

Monday, January 23, 2006

DCeptette: Are we? We are! version

  1. Wow. We Are Scientists are treated to the most obnoxiously self-serving record review, pirouetting brilliantly from blind itemesque namedropping to scenesterism to pompous self-aggrandizement to the smoldering remains of a burnt bridge in the space of a single tacky paragraph. Priceless. [Big Yawn]
  2. Less than a week after the Supreme Court upholds laws allowing the assisted suicide of the terminally, the great good sense of those laws are revealed. [The Washington Post]
  3. In my opinion, it's first person plural or fight! [DCist]
  4. Actually, as the story evolves, it hits you that the really batshit crazy neighbor is the author. [Craigslist]
  5. I'm jazzed that renewed streetcar service may become a reality in Washington. But what I'm really hoping and holding out for is ferry service. A pleasant and civilized way to travel, unless, you know, you're Spalding Gray or something. [Examiner]


UPCOMING

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
23 March | Birchmere

Mates of State
25 March | The State Theatre

Voxtrot
8 April | DC9

Art Brut
9 April | The Black Cat

The 24gasm: 9:00am

  1. I see that Connie Britton was hired mainly for the convincing way she runs full-tilt into the outstretched arms of varying people who then have to restrain her. So far, she's done that about fifteen times. Seriously, I hope they find something interesting to do with this character -- without giving her amnesia, of course. Last year, we had Shohreh Aghdashloo as the mother in distress, and while it really didn't come across in her scenes on 24, Shohreh is pretty MILFtastic. Everytime she cooed the name "Behrooooozzze" last year, I was building a little House of Sand and Fog in my pants.
  2. "Searching For Chevinsky" sounds like the name of a lost Chekov comedy. How was Jack able to find this guy in a few minutes with him walking around and the terrorists can't locate him even though he's dead?
  3. Samwise Gamgee in the house people! Wife of DCeiver is a little worried that his character is going to be the guy that fucks CTU up, but I have faith. Samwise brings the crazy terror fighting skills that he learned in Toy Soldiers, which, by the way, featured area surly actor Grady Weatherford. Hmmm. Now that we think about it...did Mark Rabinowitz work on that movie, too?
  4. This episode provides a good look at the way shitty President Logan's facile foundation cracks as he descends into fist-banging, juvenile tantrum land. Step One: he's told about the terrorists at the airport, and he squeals "TERR-or-ists?" as if he's a petulant teenager.
  5. Mike Novick officially has the worst fictional government career ever. And I'm including the awful Moira Kelly and her awful character from The West Wing.
  6. Meanwhile, back at the airport, Connie Britton is doing her sprint-into-restraining-arms routine again. "You don't understand! I'm from Spin City! I can't handle this! That kid in there is my son, and he looks ten years older than the age the writers gave him! How did I drive up here so fast? They took a helicopter! Joel Surnow, you magnificent bastard!"
  7. Here's the thing. The terrorists want (that is, they say they want) for President Logan and Russian President Dressing to not sign their historic accord. So, what's stopping them from calling it off, getting the terrorists to stand down, then being all: "Ha! Psych! Super psych! We signed this shit on double secret background in the bathroom of a Starbucks! Suck our bones, terrorist fucks!" Besides, it's really a treaty they are signing I thought, and treaties can't be signed off on until the Senate approves, so this accord is basically all agreed to but the formalities, right?
  8. President Logan approaches breakdown, Step 2: Ol' jowly face won't call of the accord. He won't! He won't! He won't! Neener neener! So CTU had 90 minutes to fix it or he won't be their friend anymore. Geesh. I'd like to see Bill Buchanan snap once and tell everyone in earshot that Logan is the worst President to work for EVER.
  9. I kind of wish that when they make contact with the terrorists for the first time, they start things off by pretending to be Sprint or something: "Excuse me, sir, but are you completely satisfied with your long-distance service?" Who knows? Maybe the guy IS so fed up with his current carrier that he drops a Social or something. At the very least, it's always good to lead with a joke.
  10. Is it that terrorists dress like Eurotrash rejects or do Eurotrash rejects dress like terrorists?
  11. Let's spare a thought for Jack, Connie and her 25 year old teenage son Derek. For Jack, this is another flat-out doomed relationship, isn't it. Especially with the ever-dampening Audrey Raines back at CTU. Dude can't catch a break. Right now, Jack is so cursed, so snakebit, that if he went speeddating, everyone would end up being held hostage or forced to take heroin or there'd be that cougar that threatened Kim scoring higher with the ladies than ol' Keef.
  12. It's worth pointing out, by the way, that this crisis could not have been averted with all the warrantless wiretaps in the world. So bite me, Dick Cheney.
  13. Hey OC fans! How's that new date and time working out for you? How many of you have had to increase your regular dosage of anti-anxiety drugs? It's for a legitimate medical survey.
  14. Oh, Spenser! Don't act like you were more worried about Chloe than Edgar Freaky Styley. If the torch Edgar's carries for Chloe had been used by the Maccabees, it would still be Hanukkah!
  15. Seriously, a 24 version of Jack Bauer speeddating would be a hilarious one-off parody for the next ShoWest or something. "The following takes place during the fifteen minutes I spent having cocktails with Anne-Marie Fletcher, accounts clerk for Capitol Records."
  16. Jack convinces Chloe to engage in some unapproved computer use. Or as they call it CTU, an "off-protocol action." Drop that two-dollar word into your next staff meeting! But Chloe should know by now, Edgar's all-seeing eyes never miss an off-protocol action.
  17. Martha Logan yanks out her right boob to intimidate that security dude into giving her access to the phone records. Nice move. Given President Logan's overall state of chronic pussification, we imagine that Martha could have also freaked the security guy into stunned silence by whipping out her fat and hanging pair of testicles, also.
  18. I love how the Euroterror leader gets all therapeutic with Derek, who's breathing heavily and pumping out the biggest on camera snot bubble since Heather Donahue. "In a simpler time, I was a Belarussian respiratory therapist. But now I must the purge the international pleural membrane of your imperialist pig-dogs! Seriously, though, you could use a strong antihistamine."
  19. You know, you'd think that a guy like Jack would carry a cell phone that doesn't take twenty minutes to "reboot", or, as the entire cell-phone carrying population calls it: "turn on."
  20. President Logan approaches breakdown, Step 3: Oh no they didn't! Someone had to go and tell Logan that Jack Bauer was mixed up in all this. Nothing gives Logey greater palpitations than Bauer. We imagine the President waking up in a cold sweat at night with the night terrors, shouting "Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-Bauer! Buh-buh Bauer!" like he was Fred Flintstone or something.
  21. Freals. A few minutes ago, most of you asked yourself, "Who the fuck is Heather Donahue?" didn't you?
  22. What the hell does it mean for a car to be ranked "number one in initial quality?" That sounds like a fancy way of avoiding the question as to whether a car's quality falls off precipitously once it's driven off the lot. As far as I'm concerned, I think this blog ranks number one in initial quality. And then I start writing for it and everything heads downhill.
  23. I hate it anytime someone says: "I am urging you in the strongest possible terms blah blah blah..." as they do in this episode. That's not urging at all. That's passively appealing to someone's better nature as a means of avoiding having to do any urging. And those really aren't very strong terms at all.
  24. Next on 24: sold out by the President's own advisor, Jack must salvage the situation as Walt's treachery runs against Derek's stupidity in a desperate race to the bottom.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Pompatus of Lost: 2.11--The Island of Doctor More Woe

It's not lost on us that many of you people aren't exactly excited over the prospect of Jack-centered episodes anymore. Some of y'all are crazy Lockites who want to get all freaky-deak with the Man with the Dome full of Mystery every week. Still more of you are fanfic luminaries who hope your third season prospectus ends up looking like prophecy. Others just find the inner workings of the JackStory to be snoozeworthy--the "busy work" of the show. Have faith, people. It's all about seed planting, payoff, you gotta sin to get saved, into every life a little rain must fall, lie back and try to enjoy it, bend over here it comes again, et cetera. The sun can't shine on Hurley's ass every time out.

Besides, like I've been saying for a few weeks now, we left off last season with our buddies from La Isla Encanta totally convinced that the marauding Others were going to come knocking and put the denizens of the rape caves to the torch. The Hatch represented, at that time, a last ditch hope for people who desperately wanted to hide. When all that stuff resolved, the islanders by and large, floated serenely back to their daily lives as if they hadn't been terrified out of their minds the day before. Over the season, this idleness has been punctured by moments of excitement, but it's mostly been of three varieties: 1) learning about the Hatchy goodness 2) learning about the Desert Island Dicks and Ana Tequila, and 3) peak, yet private moments of pain for some individual characters. Now, it's time to get the game reoriented back to the threat that concluded last season. As this is, and will be, something that goes right to issues of leadership, it's a Jack thing. Trust me: this episode is a sign that the big arc of the story is getting back underway.

We start in Flashbackistan. Dr. Jack Shepard has made Julie Bowen better again. He's made her stronger, faster, than she was before. And, as an added bonus, when her fiancee bailed on her while she was all busted up, Jack prescribed her 200 cc's of his hot tattooed loving. Side effects include dry mouth, nausea, headaches, and crippling codependency.

Word of Jack's amazing, Desmond-fueled work on Julie Bowen has apparently travelled far and wide, all the way to the far of land of Italy--where men gracefully age into elderly Eurotrash, famous composer-types and their daughters are all preternaturally alluring, be-dialected, raven-haired beauties. One such gentleman and his alluring be-dialected, raven-haired beauty of a daughter has travelled across the sea, no doubt aboard Amerigo Vespucci's restored sailing vessel, to seek Jack's super surgical skillz. Jack is all kvetchy at the prospect of having to repeat his miracle. His dad seems hype to downplay expectations. But we know that he's going to agree to do the surgery because we know Jack's just not complete if he isn't playing God...or at the very least Ty Pennington, on people's bodies and sex lives.

Foosh! Jack wakes up in the Hatch. I wonder if the rest of the castaways get to enjoy the perks of the Hatch, or if it's just an inner circle sort of thing. You'd think that people would hang out there all the time. Or that at least there'd be a steady line for the showers. Well, it's a good thing that everyone's happier out on the beach, otherwise Michael would never have been able to knock Locke unconscious and steal a gun, which is the joyful scene that Jack finds when he awakes.

Surprised that Michael got up the gumption to knock our favorite Island Mystery Man out? Don't be. Michael's all het up and gun crazy, desperate to prove his paternal adequacy once and for all. Jack tries to reason with him, which basically means he tries to sell Mike on a Jack-conceived plan. Jack's behavior in this moment, of course, doesn't at all neatly dovetail with the desperate motivations that have undone his life up to this point. Mike ain't having any of it, and to drive his point home, threatens to shoot the computer. "It's not what you think it is," Michael warns. And the owls are not what they seem, either. Jack pleads that they can find Walt together, that he can lean on him, when he's not strong. Mike's all: I gotta do this alone, and he locks them in the gun closet. Heh. He locks Locke. So meta.

After we hear about some exciting new products, we return to find Sawyer and Kate canoodling their way to the Hatch. Skaters everywhere, rejoicing. Skater-haters, swallowing that bitter pill. But when they get inside, the countdown clock is beeping and Jack and Locke are yelling. This is like, the second time in three days that the person who's supposed to watch the clock's been otherwise incapacitated, so maybe a new business model is order. Kate shuts down the doomsday device as Sawyer unlocks the gun closet. If you numerologists are scoring at home, the combination is 25, 29 and 40. Play the Pick Three, and see if horrible shit doesn't start happening to your friends and family.

Jack and Locke quickly bring Kate and Sawyer up to speed. Jack wants to go after Mike, because that's what Jack does. Sawyer thinks to himself: "Oh, no! Kate cut off my Danger Hair! The source of all my powers! The place from whence my nicknamey mojo flows!" But in the end, Sawyer's in, if only to get backsies for the bullet he had to pull out of his shoulder. Kate, naturally, wants to join in the fun, but Jack, sensing an opportunity to do what he does best in relationships--putting off the inevitable--seizes the opportunity to separate Kate from Sawyer and tells her she can't come. Personally, I don't see why Kate's so bothered that she's not allowed to come on this crazy-ass chase, but then, that's just me. If I were on the island, I'd be the first to welcome the Others as conquerors: "Nunnanunnanunnanunna Oth-ERS! Nunnanunnanunnanunna Oth-ERS! Oth-Ers! Oth-ers! Batman!"

Back in Flashbackistan, Jack is in the hospital and it is late and the air is heavy--charged with sexual tension. Jack's tense with the worry that he won't be able to repeat his miracle but that downplaying his ability will be an admission that his whole life has been based on an illusion. Gabriella, the alluring, raven-haired daughter, is nervy at the charged air in the room. She gets her nervy all up inside Jack's rich creamy tension. Down in the ER, the call comes in that a mass casualty alert has just been ordered in the wake of fifty thousand anvils falling from the sky.

Gabriella and Jack trade smoky confessions. She doesn't believe in miracles. He doesn't believe in miracles either. Well what about the Miracle on Ice, bitches? Someone needs to call Mike Eruzione up in here stat, to bring drive the de-Zamboner over Jack's burgeoning crotchfire. They talk about how Jack fixed his wife, how Jack likes to fix things, about Jack's "This Is The Girl I Fixed" themed wedding. Suddenly Jack remembers that while he'd love to stay and churn the vibe in the air until it's buttercream spreadable, it's getting to be 4:30 in the am and he's got to get home to wifey.

And so Jack returns to his palatial Flashbackistan home, to find Julie Bowen alone in bed. Julie wakes up, appearing on the surface to be all supportive of Jack's return to super-healer reknown, but it's totally obvious that deep down, she's resentful. She wants a miracle worker, not a miracleS worker. She settle for two workers of singular miracles, independently working her business...her lady business!--but that's it. Speaking of that lady business, she tells Jack that she's late with her period and has consulted a pregnancy test, but Jack hasn't managed to slip one past the goalie.

There's something in the way that Julie Bowen says she's not preggers and for Jack to not worry that's a little loaded. Not in a "Ha! Looks like you don't have super sperm after all, Jack!" way. More like in a way where I wonder if she can't have a baby because of her injuries. We know at this point that Jack gets divorced, and that this episode is leading up to that reveal in truly anviltastic fashion. But it still feels like there's one or two steps between Julie Bowen taking it on the arches and full-on looking for drunk dad down under. I only bring this up because you know this is going to mean at least two more helpings of FlashJack, and I think that you might as well accept that now and get all upset about it later.

The No Kates Allowed club continues their search for Michael. Wife of DCeiver points out that after all this time on the island, there's only been one booty call. We haven't seen one, true, but deep down, we believe that since their reunion, Bernard and Rose are loudly working at banging out a whole passel of beautiful biracial babies. Maybe that's why no one hangs out in the hatch, they never know if it's going to be Bernard and Rose's shift and, if so, which button he's working.

Anyhoo, Locke questions why they've got to start the No Kates Allowed club, and, even if so, surely they can have one Kate and still be the No Kates Allowed club. "What's she do to you?" Locke asks. Sorry, Terry O'Quinn, but if you want to delve into the swampy Sargasso sea of Jack's inner psychology, you're just going to have to watch these episodes like the rest of us. Jack doesn't want to come off like a Kater-Hater, but he doesn't necessarily mind firing a shot across the bow of his rival Kater-Participater Sawyer, sorta asking him/telling him halfheartedly under his breath, "You love her."

Nothing really comes of it however, and soon Locke is back to being concerned with the hunt for Michael. He asks Sawyer if he recognizes anything specific in the surrounding area. Sawyer sarcastically mentions that he sees his favorite leaf. We're sure that deep down, Sawyer really does have a favorite leaf, though: he calls it "Frondy" and it's near the Rape Caves and it's the only living thing on this whole island that really understands him.

Through a complicated series of hand gestures, Sawyer finally helps Locke orient the search, and that's when Locke drops the news: wherever Michael is headed, it's not back to Tailie Beach, and we can only thank Jehovah for that, too. Even though I like Eko, I never want to go back to Tailie Beach either and relive the painful memories of the dull Tequila-led Tailieban and their boomerang sticks and baseless accusations and their incompetence at fending off kidnappers, and it makes me sick to know that when they finally all do get off the island and tell their story and lead others back to the island, it'll probably be Lostie Beach that gets all touristy and lousy with cheesy resorts and that the bars will be better over on the Tail side.

Back on that pre-gentrified Lostie Beach, Sun gives Jin a hat. He looks cute. Hurley comes over to let them know about Michael going freakshow and how Jack and Locke and Sawyer have taken off after them. Jin, realizing that he has recently added searching for the emotionally wrought Michael on his resume, makes to take off in pursuit himself. Sun, however, isn't having any of it and intercedes to break Jin of his Tailie-time behavior. Jin, effectively whipped, stays put. If there's something important to take away from this scene, it's that frequently, producers have two or three minutes left to fill with some shit. And fill they did.

We rejoin the No Kates Allowed Club, and Sawyer, still weary from his wounds and tiring in the absence of his normally full, normally dangerous, head of hair, wants to take a break. Locke takes the time to point out that Michael seems awfully determined and he seems to know exactly where he's going. He asks what Jack thinks he's going to do if they find him, and Jack breaks into a few bars of the "I Just Want To Maintain The Status Quo For Once In My Life Is That So Wrong" shuffle, telling Locke that he will talk Michael into coming back. Locke gets all philosophical, saying, "Who are we to tell Michael what he can and can't do?" Tell it to Boone, jackass. Jack replies: "Nanananananana! I can't hear you! Blah blah blah! I am going to Flashbackistan where you can't hurt me. Fa la la la laaa, la la, la la."

"Crapnuggets!" Jack thinks as he ends up back in the Flashbackistan JJ and Damon have chosen for him. He's back at the hospital and Gabriella is there, as alluring and raven-haired as ever. Jack encourages them to go back home, give up, surrender, throw in the towel. But Gabriella's not the surrendering type: she's Italian, not French, and so she's more inclined to stay the course, lose badly, and restructure the disastrous Italian economy. "You're giving us a chance," she purrs, the antecedent to the pronoun lost in the humid atmosphere of unacted-upon sexual yearnings.

That's when Jack's dad enters to get Gabriella to sign off on some release forms and to personally invoice her for all the anvil removal the hospital is dealing with during her stay. Jack's dad seems terse, basically reading the situation for what it is. He offers Jack an oblique warning: "What's okay for some is not okay for you." This highlights the importance for parents to talk with their kids in very specific terms. Where Jack's dad offers his meaningless Dr. Phil bullshit, a better father would say: "Don't stick your dick in that woman unless you want to be very unhappy." Also, you should tell your kids how you feel about them as directly and to their face as possible, as opposed to leaving it up to anonymous drifters you meet in Australian bars to carry your message for you. Although, full disclosure: I did break up with a girl in exactly that fashion. You should have seen her face when she got the news. Seriously, you should have seen it. You could tell me about it. The more you know.

The No Kates Allowed Club continues their search, using vines or roots or some shit to assist their climb up a steep incline. Sawyer attempts to work his nickname mojo on Locke and comes up with Mr. Clean. Umm, yeah. See: his hair is the source of all his powers. Locke skillfully turns it around, and asks Sawyer why he chose his name, because he knows his real name is James Ford. Um, duh! He likes to saw stuff, like Jack and Kate's perfect relationship! And his given name is clearly named after the co-writer of the classic Pat Morita film Earth Minus Zero! Or, maybe because he's related to this guy, who led an Illinois band of outlaws at the turn of the 19th Century. I don't fucking know. Hey, bloggers, why don't you quit wasting my time and go and ask your boyfriend Sufjan Stevens about it already? Jeez.

Just then their discussion is interrupted by the sound of gunshots. Naturally, Jack freaks out and runs blindly and wildly toward the fusillade. Again, if I were on this island, I'd be all: Nuts to this running into gunfire shit. And then I'd return to crudely silkscreening my signature line of "Hail! The Others" t-shirts.

Locke and Sawyer tear off after Fearless Leader, and catch up to him in a clearing. Sawyer mentions that the others snatched Cindy right out from under their noses while they were travelling back to their side of the island. "You guys," Sawyer adds, "You don't understand. You'll never get to meet Cindy. Never get to share a moment with her. Never get a chance to bowled over by her personality." Well, maybe once Tequila and Tonic are in the stir for driving while blotto all over Hawaii, Cindy's agent will get a call.

The trio find some shell casings, and take a few minutes to get all CSI on the clearing, but before long they're all hashing out each other's personal agendae, making a big deal about why each one wanted to come along and find Michael. For Jack, the insatiable need to fix things and people yadda yadda blah. For Sawyer, revenge cakes. For Locke, no reason. He doesn't need a reason. He's Locke.

Meanwhile, things in Flashbackistan have taken a bad turn for the Italian dude, who's now not only not fixed, but very much not alive. Jack is awash in an orgy of self-incrimination--and that's a total shout out to to the people I watched World Cup '94 with. Jack wants to tell Gabriella that he failed, that he's a big tumenescent, pulsating, sweaty, needy, failure. But Jack's father has already communicated this to her in terms that she can understand, even if she cannot be sexually penetrated by them. Jack's mad that he doesn't get to tell her, but Jack's dad ruefully tells him that she's gone. Which of course means that she's not gone. The hospital will keep that last anvil as a memento of this trying time in everyone's life.

Jack goes out to his car, only to find Gabriella out there, waiting, teary-eyed yet still alluring and raven haired. Jack says he's very sorry and offers to make it up to her by providing her with a coupon for free exploratory throat surgery that he's grafted onto the end of his tongue. Nice work, Jack. Not stupid at all. I guess if they find Michael, he's going to make out with him.

Speaking of, it's now really dark and Locke seems to have officially lost Michael's trail. He doesn't offer a cheery forecast for picking it up again. Jack hears what he most likes to hear in the world, a bleak prognosis, and immediately starts getting all weird. Nobody thinks it's a good idea to press on, but Jack finally snaps and tells them that if they choose to return, then Mike's disappearance is "on us." That's when the bearded Evil Stevedore decides to finally add his two cents from the darkness, "You're exactly right, Jack!" Holy shitty McShit! We break for commercial, but, blogga, please: we're in no frame of mind to critically evaluate anybody's products!

We return from commercial to find the No Kates Allowed Club in a confrontation with the Evil Stevedore who's played by the guy who was Roscoe P. Coltrane in the Dukes of Hazzard remake, looking here like the dude from the cover of Kansas' Greatest Hits album. Sawyer raises his weapon to Fight Fire With Fire, but Roscoe is all Hold On, he's not going to Play That Game Tonight. He warns the No Kates Allowed Club that they've hit The Wall, arrived at The Pinnacle, reached the Point of Know Return, and if they want to Carry On living, like the Wayward Sons that they are, they better listen to him before they become Dust In The Wind.

We cut back to the Hatch, and I would posit that because the story breaks up the breaking news between Roscoe the Evil Stevedore and the No Kates Allowed Club, it's likely we're about to get an important parcel of information here. Hurley and Charlie are chilling in the Hatch, leafing through Desmond's LP collection, which is in clear violation of international Desert Island Discs rules. They talk girl stuff. Charlie wonders if Claire misses him, Hurley wonders if he's got a shot with Tonic. They pause to muse over a record by Geronimo Jackson, which self-proclaimed music expert Charlie claims to have never heard of. Sayid wanders in, and it's clear that he's reached the stage of post-Shannon grief where one decides to assume the manner and affectation of a mopey John Cusack character. I call him Sayid Dobler, and he's never heard of Geronimo Jackson either. Google it now, kiddies.

We head on back to the No Kates Allowed Club, being menaced by Roscoe. Roscoe gives them the whole I come in peace routine, but he mentions that Walt is fine, that they aren't giving him back, that they'll make sure Michael doesn't find him, and that Walt is a special boy. He adds, This is our island, and the only reason you're living on it is because we let you live on it." He quotes Alvar Hanso's compliment of human curiosity, which, according to the Hanso Foundation website is something he said in a speech at the United Nations back in a simpler time when the UN would routinely entertain the ravings of hippie cornball theorists because they were under no threat from crazy-ass John Bolton who would surely throw staplers and pencil sharpeners at people like Hanso today. But he reminds Jack that curiosity killed the cat. Basically, the scene is a heavy dose of the sort of things that happens in shows like this and the X-Files: whenever our protagonists finally get up close and personal with the people who can flat out answer all their questions, what they get in return is a melange of riddle-me-this bullshit.

Anyway, Jack gamely attempts to rebut Roscoe, saying: "Neener neener. You aren't so great. If you were all that, you wouldn't have had to send Ethan Rom, whose ass, by the way, we roundly kicked." Jack theorizes that Roscoe is alone and weak and that the three of them could take him easily. Roscoe considers this for a moment, telling Jack that he has an interesting theory--the strong implication being that it's wrong to assume that Ethan Rom-slash-Goodwin, the Stevedores, and the shiny shinned Others are all part of the same gang.

But we don't get to ponder the matter for very long, because at that moment, Roscoe yells out what sounds like the same phrase Apache Chief used to use to grow all tall and shit, and suddenly the No Kates Allowed Club is surrounded by torch wielding figures. Roscoe next calls out to a comrade named Alex--get it? ALEX, people!--and asks him to bring forth the girl. In he comes with a captured Kate. This is in clear violation of the bylaws of the No Kates Allowed Club--despite the fact that the letter of the law makes allowances for the possibility of a single Kate--and it has the trio in a bit of a bind. Faced with the possibility of harm coming to Kate, Jack and the others lay down their weapons and surrender--though Sawyer does warn that business between him and Roscoe--who Sawyer calls "Zeke"--isn't over. The Losties are warned one last time not to "cross the line" and the Stevedore gang fades into the night.

Back at the beach, Jin is sitting near the surf, unable to sleep, when Sun comes over to talk to him. Jin, recalling that trenchant scene where Sun told him not to go looking for Michael, confesses that he doesn't like being told what to do. Sun's replies, "Big whoopeedoo. Neither do I, Mr. Controlly Controllerson." Jin turns and says: "I suppose you don't." Awww. Jin has reached a new level of understanding, just like it said he would in the brochures Michael printed up for the Rainbow PUSH Oceanaire Club and Rafting Society Unlimited.

The No Kates Allowed Except The One Kate We Got Stuck With Thanks To Roscoe Club returns from their hunting expedition. Kate tells Jack she's very sorry. Jack frosts her big time.

We return to Flashbackistan and the unhappy household of Jack and Julie Bowen. Jack relates that the surgery was a massive failure. He takes over washing dishes, because his bad head voice keeps telling him: "Okay, Jack! There's some gravy remnants on that charger! You can FIX it! It's GO TIME! You're SUPRAMAN, Jack Scrub! Scrub like your marriage depended on it!" Julie Bowen asks after Italian dude's daughter, and Jack manages to dial up the exact wrong answer, confessing to the saliva donation he made on her behalf. Jack's world begins to tilt on its axis and unravel, and he starts insisting that he can totally fix their relationship. Get me my conversation cap! Bring me the pipe cleaners and duct tape. Cue up my MacGyver collection.

But Julie Bowen decides to drop her bombshell. She's leaving Jack. In fact, she's all packed up. The only thing keeping her there was the dishes. Which Jack went ahead and washed. She's been seeing someone else, a nice guy whose opened up a law practice in a bowling alley maybe. Or maybe not. Chances are, whoever she's ending up with is likely to be one of those great Lost coinky-dinks. She tells Jack that his problem is that he'll always need someone to fix. Yeah, Julie, and you'll always fall googly-shit in love with whoever happens to be showing you a shred of kindness that day. Anyway, this is what happens when you base your relationship on a Coldplay song. Lights guide you home and then they turn around and ignite your bones. Seriously, don't ask me what the fuck Chris Martin is talking about. Ignite my bones? WTF?

Jack's rapid descent is set in motion now. He's gone from being a happily married man to being a Single Guy. And we all know that on many levels, being a Single Guy is like being a massive dollop of useless shit. Still, Jack has many honorable vestiges left. He's not so far gone that he's reached the basest, shallowest, level of waste of some Single Guys. Single Guys, like, for example, plagiarizing ass-hats like, say, Mike Lucia who need to have their bones ignited by the delicate work of backhanded fists.

Back at the beach, the closing montage is in full swing. Kate pads around, looking concerned. Charlie passes by Locke cooing over Claire's baby, gritting on him hard. And Jack walks with a purpose, looking for someone to turn to. Guess who that person is? It's Ana Tequila, sitting alone, who offers Jack her renowned fish-like sympathies. Jack asks her if it's true that she killed one of the Others. Tequila replies in the affirmative. He asks if it's true that she's a cop. Tequila says yes--a dirty, renegade, murdering cops at that. Jack asks her how long it would take for her to train an army.

What-wha?

I guess if actual-member-of-an-actual-army Sayid only had a vagina, none of this would be happening.