Thursday, March 26, 2009

Scenes from Elsewhere, 3/26/09

  1. Ahh, Michele Bachmann. She heard of this thing called the Constitution, assumed that it conferred upon her all the superpowers of Jesus, and then never bothered to get around to reading Article One, which explains "Congress" and "legislating."
  2. DID YOU KNOW?: Barack Obama is the first black president to use a teleprompter!
  3. Though Ed Henry's exciting twist -- coupling his boring question with an invitation to get emasculated on live teevee -- did blow up the Twitterverse for a while.
  4. Led by Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, this pseudo-centrist caucus seemed to broadly threaten to "torpedo" President Obama's domestic agenda with their patented brand of "hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit."
  5. Don't you think that Geithner's bailout plan shows a naive sense of meliorism? Or am I just indulging in too much fatalism?
  6. Other than that, I am presenting this video without comment.
  7. Anyway, take a close look and let us know what you think it says, because, obviously, this is the key to making the economy happy again, forever and ever.

A Supposedly Fun Thing That's Not Fun At All Don't Do It For God's Sake

I've been seeing this commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines new ship-based waterslides, and seriously, who is this fuckchop kidding with his insistence that a trip down their waterslide will be anything more than long and disgusting sluice through the sweat and urine and pox of a hundred other strangers, just like all waterslides, with the added benefit that it's on a cruise ship, which means the whole thing is crawling with norovirus. Foul. Do not want.

Oh, great. Cruises from Baltimore. Just the port of call from which you want your waterslides to be embarking.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This Seems To Be A Bit Of A 'Thinker'

So, these games that are being played over DC voting rights and Congress/the NRA seem to have most DC residents at sixes and sevens. As the ad at the side notes, plenty of people are of the mind that this constitutes holding their vote "hostage." I've read many opinions that suggest DC should sacrifice their unique gun laws for the good of having some Congressional representation. I think a more elementary point is being missed here. Let's take a broad look at the give and take, shall we?

WASHINGTON, DC: Look. We want voting rights, and full representation in Congress.

CONGRESS: Sorry, no. But, tell you what. We'll give you a little representation, on one condition.

WASHINGTON, DC: What's the condition.

CONGRESS: You have to take all of these guns.


CONGRESS: That's right. You people, who live in close proximity to those of us who have denied you full representation, must take these deadly firearms.
You'd be hard pressed to find an oppressed group in history who was offered this sort of deal!

Reality Check

Saturday, March 21, 2009

They Put A Hot Wire To My Head, Because Of The Things I Did And Said

For Tim Geithner

How Much Can You Get For My Credit-Fuck That Swap?

I actually sat down and entertained an argument that there was, indeed, a need for for executive pay in excess of $500,000 because, after all, it was costly to live in Manhattan. Really? You motherfuckers basically obliterated the financial space-time continuum, and supposed to believe that the one place you can turn out the lights on Western Civilization is from your perch on Central Park West? Yeah, son, move to Little Rock. Jesus. Fuck you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Annals of Superfluous Information

No brackets this year. Just gonna root for the teams I like to beat the teams I don't like as much, and I'm going to try to just enjoy the Tournament. One game I'm going to try to enjoy is tonight's game with my graduate school Virginia Commonwealth University. Sommer Mathis knows I love her to bits, but I'm hoping that tonight I get to sing, "What will you do now for fun in bad weather? Will you be lonely forever and ever? It's a bad year, the hard liners say, for tragic heroes at U.C.L.A." We'll see. I'm sure she'll be just as tauntful as I. LOSERS BUY MILKSHAKES, let's say.

Anyway, I happened to see this on Yahoo's scoreboard:

I'm not sure why they bothered to include the information about VCU's road record and UCLA's home record. After all, the game is being played in downtown Philadelphia. It's not like the Rams are travelling all the way to Westwood to play the Bruins. U.C.L.A. actually has the worst of it, travel-wise. These statistics tell us nothing about the game at all, unless, of course, the secret is in U.C.L.A.'s white jerseys. Even then, the story would be their magical white jerseys though. Anyway, go Rams!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Footnote In Your Memoirs

Spencer catches our former President making something of a Kinsley gaffe in his announcement of his new memoir, If I Did It, by George W. Bush, with a foreword from Muntadhir Al-Zaidi.

"I'm going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there's an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened," Bush said.
This will mark a break from the authoritarian voice saying anything of the kind, so, upside.

Now With More Dancing Newsies

Day ended up not being nearly as shitty as you surmised? So, inspred by Boing Boing: Time to celebrate with the marvelous motherfucking Mae Shi! Here's a silly video that was put together for the quick and dirty take they did on the Christian Bale matter, "R U Professional":

And here's one from their last album Hllyh, "Run To Your Grave."

The Good News Is That Newspapers May Last Till The End Of Time. The Bad News Is That The End Of Time May Soon Be Reported, In A Newspaper.

Clay Shirky isn't thinking nearly unthinkable enough:

That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place. The importance of any given experiment isn’t apparent at the moment it appears; big changes stall, small changes spread. Even the revolutionaries can’t predict what will happen.
But what if the old stuff gets broken and there is no new stuff to put in it's place? Was that new stuff dependent on an economy in which conspicuous consumption flourished? Because we may not be getting that sort of economy back, ever. Or maybe you imagine that the revolution would be floated on credit and the general agreement that we'd look the other way where tangible business plans and instrinsic value is concerned? Uhm, no. Been there, done that, I'm afraid. Anyway, one thing the revolutionaries might not predict is that they're not nearly as revolutionary as they give themselves credit for being.

At least the old broke stuff will be dirt cheap.

Scenes From Elsewhere, 3/17/09

  1. "If the GOP were The Hills, Laura Ingraham would totally be Spencer."
  2. But the fact that no one bothered to spare Cramer the same presumed indignity that Rick Santelli was spared is telling.
  3. Would O'Reilly have opened a camera shop in the Castro? Would his presence had improved the quality of life for California's GLBT population? Would he have lost the love of James Franco, and come to regret it?
  4. New question then: Surely everyone has to admit that setting a timetable for withdrawal worked! Because that's the word on the streets in Iraq.
  5. Hopefully, he wasn't forced to watch Glenn Beck's primetime melodrama festival, in which he advanced his Unified Field Theory of All Bad Things Are The Same (Obama is President! Pelosi is also important! Blagojevich! His hair! Weird people in military uniforms! Dollhouse isn't that good! Sales of the new U2 album are stagnant! Sexting!)
  6. And once again, the obvious has been proven, with the maths.
  7. But more to the point, whoever is responsible for putting this video together needs to accept a new prevailing reality, that stupid little lies like this will be debunked and exposed very quickly, so they may as well just cut out this nonsense entirely.
  8. That's a good thing, because back then, people stalked the streets of big cities, selling those terrible 1930s apples, for their jobs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jump Off The Key Bridge, Please

So, for a long time, we've been promised that some sort of Late Night Shots reality teevee show would be put on the air, for reasons passing understanding, and I know for instance, that Amanda Mattos and I have been saving our very best cackling for when and if it ever debuts. The show is going to be called Blonde Charity Mafia, and not my suggested title Slumdog Millionaire In Reverse With the Ending of Angel Heart, which I thought perfectly captured the essence of some people slowly frittering away money they didn't earn as they became whores and hobos who leap headlong into a pit of feces to be deservedly disemboweled by Satan. It will star three women who showed up at the DC premiere of Nothing But The Truth, amid loud choruses of "Am I supposed to know who they are?"

Anyway, via Liz Glover, we discover this hilarious, hilarious online movie, and yes, if this show ever airs, this is EXACTLY what it's going to sound like - sad, wannabe fameballs undermining and fingerbanging each other, and blogging about it, and being thunderously dull, the end.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Full Spectrum Awkwardness

I think we can all agree that "life's biggest adventure shouldn't be finding a bathroom." Nevertheless, I think that women will probably want a more substantial sort of amelioration than GO GIRL, which is...uhm, the first portable, concealable catheter for women.

Learn more about this product, its cringe-worthy testimonials ("With GO GIRL, the world is your toilet."), its completely uncalled-for blog, its wholly superfluous GO GIRL MINI COOPER, it's life-changing Twitter account, and of course, it's not at all awkward logo.

Note, this is not to be confused with BLO AND GO. Seriously. DO NOT CONFUSE THESE ITEMS.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Scenes From Elsewhere, 3/12/09

  1. Now, I'm not a polling and statistics genius like Nate Silver, but I have a feeling that CNN is just not doing a good job capturing the opinion of all the people who would rate Obama's first fifty days as "Maybe."
  2. And then, Hannity made light of people with pre-existing conditions, curing them all with ridicule, the best medicine.
  4. But, yeah, Matt Taibbi should still be allowed to beat Friedman, with sticks.
  5. Honestly, Meghan, these reporters are HEROES.
  6. I think the New York Times has made an exceedingly wise and, frankly, exciting choice to tap The Atlantic's Ross Douthat as its new op-ed columnist.
  7. Uhm, look. I'm just not ready for the idea of tofu seasoned with somebody's rogue gym towel.
  8. But that's how blinkered they've become at CNBC. Hanging out with the Warren Buffets of the world has confused Jim Cramer into thinking he's the "little guy," just as hanging out with Jeffrey Immelt has led David Gregory to believe he is a member of the middle class.
  9. And that's the incredibly true story of how I penetrated this cunning bit of obfuscation by reading the very paper the obfuscators claim to edit.
  10. Reached for comment, Cox responded: "I have to say it puts the dream I had about Alan Greenspan hitting on me into perspective."
  11. So there you have it: Chip Reid and Kent Conrad are, at this very minute, in a tree, kissing each other.
  12. "Everybody's going to be blaming Bernie."

"It's An Act!"

Amy Argetsinger asked for thoughts on Joaquin Phoenix's strange behavior, and as an added especial treat, I get to be quoted alongside Kate Debelack and Casie Platt, who two of my favorite Washingtonians and dear friends, to boot.

I would add that I hope people refrain from comparing this weird flight of whimsy Phoenix seems to be on with Sascha Baron Cohen's work as Borat, because what Cohen does is very high-stakes. "Borat" is not just a collection of personality quirks - it's an argument, it's a character that learns, it's a carefully constructed plan that is being articulated.

Enjoy The YouTube Mashup That's Basically Redeemed The Existence Of The Internet For The Next Couple Of Days Or So

Makes You Long For The Punditry Of Toonces, The Driving Cat (Who Is a Libertarian, I Believe)

Yeah, so, Victoria Jackson is someone you might remember from Saturday Night Live and an X-Files episode about psychic weathermen (I think?), and she used to be moderately funny but that's before Lorne Michaels held her face against too many piles of cocaine and now she's a little looney-tunes, and a spouter of fringetastic right-wing talking points, to boot. She demonstrated all of this on Hannity last night, God love her:

Actually, my only major objection to this is Hannity's billing of this segment as a "Great American Panel." I think we can all agree that even at her best, Jackson was only really just an "Okay American."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Next Nerd-Culture Frontier

So, the frontier that is Watchmen has been reached. And an abundance of riches is coming down the line: Trek reboot from JJ Abrams, X-Men Origins starting with Wolverine but not likely ending there, another Iron Man, an Avengers flick, a Battlestar prequel series...

And yet, I wonder what the next Watchmen level event will be? For me, I'd love to see a filmed adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens. I'd also love to see, one day, some Stormwatch/The Authority on the big screen, but I suspect I'm in the minority there.

Oh, and Preacher, also, obvs. But that script's been passed around between HBO and Columbia and is so deep in development hell that I'm not sure even Sam Mendes, who's the current director attached, can get it out.

HBO To The Rescue?

Matt's post on Watchmen (which references Spencer's post) concludes thusly:

All-in-all, I’m torn between immense admiration for the film and regret that it was done as a movie at all. In retrospect, I kind of wish we’d instead gotten a 12 part HBO maxi-series that was really uncompromising and didn’t leave anything out.
As things like Lost and the reboot of Battlestar Galactica proves, television has become the preferred medium for intricately plotted, richly detailed entertainments. And HBO has successfuly shepherded two of the best television series of all time - The Sopranos and The Wire - from start to finish, with such loving care and genuine excitement for the richness of the storytelling that both series were stuffed to bursting with geniunely exciting characters and subplot and diversion. I'm sure Watchmen isn't the first read that Matt's imagined faring the best in the hands of an HBO, willing to take the time and stake the space to get the story right.

Wish fulfillment aside, I think that what Zack Snyder was able to do with Watchmen in under three hours was proof of concept enough for a feature film vision. I mean, I can see what Matt is saying, but compare Watchmen to a REALLY missed opportunity, like the recent film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which was cast so perfectly (Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell) and yet had such complete hash made out of the plot (and which never made good, fun use of the titular Guide).

That's a movie that should have been a mini-series.


So, yeah! WATCHMEN happened, and I was pretty happy about the results. I think I slightly exceed Ana Marie's enthusiasm, fall slightly short of Spencer's, but really, overall I am impressed by the care that was taken to bring it to the screen. It's so odd now to think about how this was once considered to be unfilmmable - clearly, in the age of the DVD extra, it becomes possible to pack off some of the comic's great secondary and tertiary material and preserve the "feature presentation" as just that.

Was it perfect? No. There were two disappointments. One: the actor playing Veidt/Ozymandias was really not good. Ironically, he failed to rid himself of all the nagging little behaviors of comic book villainy, so the ending was projected from minute one. Also, his diction was just REALLY substandard. He had whole scenes where I couldn't make out what he was saying. It was like Fred Fenster or something.

And the SOUNDTRACK. UGH. Really bad. It was like they were trying to recreate the FORREST GUMP soundtrack or something. Jarring, terrible song-choices, picked solely because of their place in the meta-historical firmament. "The Sound Of Silence?" "Hallelujah?" The fantastic opening credits were ironically tracked to "The Times They Are A-Changing," brilliantly - it was somehow both culturally connected and yet ironically detatched, and I guess they thought that they were working that line with the rest of their song choices, but more often than not, they just pulled me out of the movie. Why not use the strange and otherworldly tunes they'd chosen for the ad campaign, like Smashing Pumpkins and Muse?

Also, I should say, that the sacrifice you make when you hew so closely to the original, is that you inherit, for better or worse, a very uncinematic pace. And you're also stuck with lines that look great in ink but sound strange in people's mouths. Chris Lehman, who hadn't read the comic, was our "control group," and even I felt some visceral pain on his behalf. Normally, you don't get away with saying stuff like:

NITE OWL: What happened to the American Dream?

COMEDIAN: It came true. You're lookin' at it!
...without Chris ripping you apart with a thousand pointy knives, and really, that's to his credit.

Billy Crudup lent a ton of intelligently deployed acting craft to a thankless role that's cloaked in CGI and weirdness, and Patrick Wilson - so fantastic in Little Children - is easily the best thing in the movie - so good that the movie's downright Nite Owl-centric. Jackie Earl Hailey is a superb Rorschach as well. And somehow, Malin Ackerman escaped without setting my teeth on edge, like she typically does. When the movie drives to its set pieces, it really unleashes, and it does not skimp on the brutality. And frankly, I thought that it really very starkly put Dr. Manhattan's hypocrisy (his facile justifications for "saving" humanity, versus how casually he abandons his "miraculous" rationale when Rorschach forces him into a corner) on display...maybe a little better than the book did.

Overall, I'd say it was pretty damn good, but not so good that you'd win Best Supporting Actor if you kicked the bucket in the next thirty days or whatever.

My Angel Wings Were Bruised and Restrained

Casie's probably right, but given the state of the credit market these days, suicide seems to be an appropriate point of reference! In fact, I'd have doubled down. To wit:

Monday, March 09, 2009

Highlights from Elsewhere, 3/10/09

  1. "I have to say, I find cheap populism very arousing."
  2. Soybean currency! Koalapox! Werewolf Congresses! A Kansas-Mexico Axis! DECEPTICONS WILDING OUT IN THE STREET. And fog, FOG, FOG!!
  3. And from Pawlenty's side, you could do a lot worse as a Republican than emerge from an interview with Maddow with her having proclaimed your rhetoric to be "measured."
  4. Did you ever get the sinking feeling that all those pundits -- or as Sarah Palin calls them, "pundints" -- that you see on the teevee were basically wrong about everything, maybe all the time? Of course you did! And good news! You suspicions have been confirmed, with THE MATHS.
  5. Yes, indeed, I have noted the irony of a man who basically wanted to transform a woman in a persistent vegetative state into a cyborg inveighing against coupling with robots.
  6. I love the premise of this argument, immensely. Let's see. "Listen up, America! I will PRODUCE if you give me $350 an hour. But if it's $320 an hour, you can forget it!"
  7. "Can we really be that stupid?" Clearly, one side of the "war on wealth" is entirely dependent on this extremely low barrier to entry!
  8. Pure guts, this CNBC, eh?
  9. With General Electric's stock price hovering somewhere in the vicinity of seven and a half dollars, the possibility of the company becoming a fully-owned subsidiary of the Sheinhardt Wig Company or being devoured by krakens, in accordance with the prophesy, has never been greater.
  10. World Net Daily -- my trusted source for Texas Secessionism news -- has a piece up from Chuck Norris, who apparently was visited by powerful hallucinations of our founding fathers and now wants to be the "President of Texas," and lead it into a bold new future of martial arts, and Wild West rope shows, and the like.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Your Periodic Reminder Of What A Spectacular Cock-Up The Redskins Front Office Is

Travis Mills passes on this hilarious, satiric recreation of Vinny Cerrato's Gmail inbox. As Travis rightly states, this suggests that there's at least one Redskins fan with way too much time on his or her hands. On the other hand, there's no use complaining about another fitting reminder of how Vinny Cerrato is the GODDAMN WORST.

GAH. He probably is working out a four-year deal with Jeff George, too. KILL ME.

UPDATE: This item, as I said, was PASSED ON to me by my friend Travis. You know, "PASSING ON" doesn't mean "created." If I'd known who had created it, I would have included a link. But I didn't know. And I never implied otherwise. I said it was "passed on." The people who did create it think that I've "incorrectly sourced" it, but the truth is, I just didn't know. Travis probably didn't know. He just sent me the link to a .jpg. So here you go: created this.

That's right!! Redskins fans whose pussies started hurting them SO BAD that they accused me of stupid shit. They can fucking suck it, forever, like the dumbassed cockholsters they are.

I have an email address, you fucking wankers. Send me an email, and talk to me politely, and next time, you won't get the back of my hand.

Highlights from Elsewhere, 3/5/09

Hey, I forgot I was sort of half-heartedly doing this!

  1. Observe the eternal sunshine of Goldberg's spotless cranial void as it attempts to write its way to credibility.
  2. Surely this is just the amuse bouche to tide the market over until Beck releases his next work, I Put California In My Mouth Again: LOOKIT IT'S IN MY MOUTH, BLAAARGGLEE!
  3. But there's a next-level inquiry brewing up here as well, namely: What happens when a political power vacuum gets filled by a media figure?
  4. The next step for the editors of the National Review is a cleansing one: coming to terms with the fact that the strategy in Iraq, aimed at creating a Western style democracy in Iraq, and/or disarming enemies of weapons of mass destruction, and/or significantly impacting the war on terror to our benefit, and/or bringing a measure of stability to the region failed to achieve any of those things.
  5. Look who's honoring Jake Tapper now!
  6. And that's a DOG WHISTLE to all my homies, holding it down in Denmark.
  7. "Hold on, hold on. You're actually a Democrat, so you don't have to cower in the corner."
  8. Lots of people finally noticed this unknown member of Congress, because of this nonsense-dance on the grave of a paper that was much-beloved by its readers.
  9. Everybody's oversharing now! Here's CNN's Jack Cafferty, whose curmudgeonly heart has been lit ablaze in a way that Wolf Blitzer could never quite manage.
  10. But now it's time for MSNBC's America's Next Top Limbaugh Critic!
  11. As the kids these days say: This shit's about to get real.
  12. Raise your hand if you see - post-collapse of civilization - a possible future where California and the Pacific Northwest have formed a rump state with Idaho, Utah, and Arizona allied with the Chinese, and in which the liberal Northeastern enclaves of New England and Acela-land are off to join the Eurozone with Ground Zero of Bittergate - West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
  13. I am personally a huge, huge fan of their 1999 record, Anomie and Bonhomie. I am also a fan of blending anomie and bonhomie in general.

Food Network Tool To Stalk Area Restaurants

DCist says that Bobby Flay, of the Food Network's Bobby Flay's Dick MoveThrowdown, is making a return appearance to the District. Or at least, in this case, its outiest of outskirts. Apparently, he'll challenge Nongkran Daks, head chef at Chantilly's Thai Basil, to this "throwdown." To those of you who are unversed in Flay's repertoire, this basically means he'll be offering his "Southwestern Style Jizz Vapor" take on pad thai. Previously, he offered his "Southwestern Style Jizz Vapor" take on moules frites, in a battle with Granville Moore's. Next he'll probably open Bobby Flay's House of Southwestern Style Jizz Vapor, in Bloomingdale, or some shit like that.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

If You Had The Funny Feeling That A Bunch Of Tanzanians Were Having A Much More Interesting Time Than You Earlier This Week... wasn't for nothing. [Via.]

Soap Bar Lasts, Cause It's Fucking Consistent

Apparently, the remaining vestiges of the now dead and gone Rocky Mountain News have been rolled into a new blog. That blog has been named I Want My Rocky, thus ensuring that it will become the leading news source for all Goldie Lookin Chain fans.