Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Republicans continue to lose their grip on reality

Keep a close eye on the Senate vote on funding stem cell research. Because if we lose that one, you have an idea of how the next decade is going to go in this country. If Bush gets his way and decides that people suffering from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's really don't deserve every chance they can get to recover, then we won't be able to see the light shining in through the cover of the coffin of democracy anymore.

Why is there even argument or debate on this one? If stem cell research could lead to cures for diseases (and the evidence on this is good enough to pursue it to its end result), why wouldn't we fund it? As usual, the Republican argument is completely outside of reality. They seem to have some half-realized notion that the abortion rate will go up somehow, or people will be forced to have abortions in order to have a constant flow of stem cells for research. This is probably the most idiotic thing I've ever heard--well, ever since the Republicans decided that accepting homosexual marriage will lead to marriage between people and goats. You know, this country already has too many instances of strange shit to argue that some kind of floodgate is going to open and let the freaks out. Remember that woman that married her house? And there are people who leave their estates to their cats. America already has problems that a bunch of gay marriages aren't going to exacerbate.

Tom DeLay said in Congress: ''If we afford the little embryo any shred of respect and dignity we cannot in good faith use taxpayer dollars to destroy them.'' His attempt to humanize the fetus is particularly offensive to me. It's nothing but a philosophical debate trying to decide where life begins, and the law has so far declined to create a guideline for this. An embryo is not a person with "respect and dignity," I'm sorry. If it can't survive independent of the body, it's a parasite until the third trimester. And where are all these abortions coming from, exactly? Does DeLay have any idea how many miscarriages there are in a day? Some of this is coming from umbilical cords and things of that nature. No one is going to have an abortion in the name of science. They just don't want to make abortions acceptable.

Bush is, of course, threatening a veto. Never have I seen a president so hell-bent on running the country according to his own personal beliefs--seriously, I never thought I'd live to see it, but this guy's worse than Satan, er, Reagan. What we have here is a president who:

a. Took the greatest period of American prosperity and ran up the biggest deficit in history.

b. Cares so little about the personal happiness of his voters that he denies a segment of the populace the dignity of marriage.

c. Cares so little about protecting the population from terrorists that he dropped the ball on all of Clinton's successful anti-terror programs and then, after the most violent attack on America by a foreign power since the War of 1812 occured, chose to attack a country that was not the country the terrorists came from (it was Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan, and not Iraq).

d. In fact runs the country through terror, fear, and intimidation.

e. Is Saudi Arabia's bitch the same way Tony Blair is his bitch.

f. Cares so little about the environment that he led us out of the Kyoto Protocols and opened the Alaska Pipeline, ensuring that Global Warming is, in fact, not a theory, but a reality.

g. Is some sort of functioning illiterate.

h. Has alienated nearly every one of our allies, and only kept England and Australia through threats.

i. Obviously doesn't care if a bunch of diseased people die.

j. Has created so much new litigation and driven the prison population so high that, soon enough, it will be a crime to even be black in America.

k. Seems hell-bent on conquering the Middle East and reclaiming the Holy Land, or something.

l. Wants to bring back the Star Wars Defense System so that he can rule the world from outer space (even though, in taxes, we've already paid for it twice over and it seems not to have appeared).

m. Actually wants to develop alternative order to run oil drills!

n. Gives money to churches because, you know, why should Church and State be separated?

o. Refuses to tax the churches he gives the money to!

p. Was almost killed by a pretzel.

Yeah, America, you sure made the right choice last fall, didn't you? And make no mistakes, I blame you. If you voted for him, I blame you. If you didn't vote at all, I blame you. This is really the man you want representing your country? Fine. But don't expect to travel and be treated well by the locals. Because Bush is out there, ruining your reputation. And maybe he's not that far off. I mean, we can't even decide if the death penalty is "humane" enough...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Jim Hill's Useless Negativity

The usually-interesting Jim Hill had some choice words this morning about The Muppets' Wizard of Oz over at Jim Hill Media.

What a lame bitchfest this artice is. Jim is obviously stuck in a time capsule where Jim Henson is still alive and a new film from the Muppets must be incredibly easy to launch on a whim. Doesn't he understand how much was riding on this ABC film? The very future of the Muppets as a viable property, that's what. And yet, instead of focusing on the good points of the movie (and there were many of them), he allows his resentment grow and grow until he decides that this is the worst Muppet project to ever see the light of day. I don't know what movie he was watching, because this was the first Muppet project since 1992 to really capture the spirit of the Muppets for me again.

Jim laments that the movie came in third in its time slot. But what he doesn't point out is that Disney considers this a success--it came in third on the opening weekend of Star Wars, for chrissakes! No one should have been at home watching it, and yet it garnered the highest ratings that ABC has had in the Friday night 8pm Eastern time slot in TWO YEARS. And all Jim can do is moan that it wasn't a smash runaway hit. I'd say that with all the things The Muppets' Wizard of Oz is up against, the movie did incredibly well. And it deserved to.

This is so typical of fans these days (and make no mistake, for all of his pretension to a media site, he is just a fan running a blog, exactly like myself and with the same air of condescencion). Rather than praise what's new for what it is, all he can see is what The Muppets' Wizard of Oz wasn't. Rather than be hopeful for the future of the Muppets, he looks into the past and wonders why Jerry Juhl, Frank Oz, and Paul Williams can't be more involved. All he wants is the Muppets of 1979, and screw anyone who wants something new. Because it isn't the same as what he liked decades ago.

Well, time flows onward and things change. I wish Jim Henson was still alive, too. But he isn't. And we can play the game of what might have been all we want, but we have to accept what is. And The Muppets' Wizard of Oz was a good movie that, judging by the responses to this morning's article, a lot of people liked. And we didn't like it just because we're grateful to have a new Muppet movie. We liked it because it was a GOOD Muppet movie. Unlike Jim, we're fans.