Saturday, December 12, 2009

Health Care Reform Will Be a Pyrrhic Victory at Best

I agree with Matt Taibbi: "The point is that an economic team made up exclusively of callous millionaire-assholes has absolutely zero interest in reforming the gamed system that made them rich in the first place."

I think this applies to the entire government; Republicans, Democrats, what have you, this system is run by the rich for the rich at the expense of everyone else. They will always place their own well-being and their (and their friends') paychecks above what is actually in the best interest of the country. And this is why it's so hard to be patient with the democratic system and to continue to believe that voting or political activism do any good: because as long as the government remains under corporate control, everything will be rigged in favor of the rich and against everyone else.

This reform is shaping up to be yet another corporate giveaway that hands off billions to companies that are, we're constantly told, "too big to fail."

In 2007, when the long primary was beginning, Barack Obama said he would cut insurance premiums for a family of 4 by $2500. Now he's backing a plan that will increase premiums by $1000 every year. His plan does nothing to meaningfully address rising health care costs, but instead does exactly what he promised it wouldn't do and shifts the burdens without relieving them.

Remember when he said he'd go after drug companies that sell the same drugs in America for double what they charge in Canada and Europe? Just so much lip service. Not only does the health "reform" guarantee that there will be no negotiation for Medicare prescription drug prices, it bans the reimportation of cheaper drugs from Canada. To protect the corporations, because it forces us to buy their products. And we get penalized by the IRS if we refuse.

I said a long time ago, before the primary was over, that it was naive to think that Obama's health reform would work. Because he was taking money from insurance and pharma for his campaign. And because he wanted to give those industries a chance to participate in the reform, even though those companies are the problem. It's just more corporate protectionism, except it's on the left instead of the right.

And I'm sorry, but I put the blame squarely on President Obama. He has squandered all of his political capital and goodwill on stalled negotiations and a nakedly pro-corporate agenda at a time when America needs progressive action. And it's progressive action that a lot of people voted for. I don't know about you, but I didn't vote for Obama just so he could act like a Republican. I thought he was capable of more. And maybe he is. But he's sure not interested in doing it.

You know who the biggest victim of this is going to be, besides anyone not in the richest one percent? The Democratic Party.

The public option is still popular with a majority in the United States, but polls are showing that people are getting fed up with the reform. Taking the public option out of the reform bill is political suicide for the Democrats, and Obama and Harry Reid don't seem to get it. The Democrats in Congress are working hard to kill the public option, despite the fact that people want it. And they're probably going to be very shocked next year when the Democratic base doesn't rush to the polls for the midterm election.

And let's not forget that the House bill contains the biggest rollback of women's reproductive rights in a generation.

And the Senate bill attempts to appease the teabaggers with a vile, bigoted piece of legislation that would make it illegal for undocumented immigrants to pay full price for private health insurance. Not only does that not make sense for the economy, it's going to end up costing taxpayers more money, because it forces undocumented immigrants to use the emergency room for basic health needs. And this is a Democratic bill?

You know, where's the immigration reform, anyway? Where are the torture investigations? When is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" going to be repealed?

Is it disheartening to anyone that progressives can keep the public option alive and popular with the majority of the public against a multi-million dollar campaign by the health insurance industry, and we still can't get any legislation on it?

I think the legislative process just doesn't work. Because everyone in Congress is looking out for themselves and their corporate sponsors.

Joe Lieberman throws a fit and President Obama and the Democrats in Congress abandon every principle they stand for, break every campaign promise they made, and ignore the wishes of their constituents.

Matt Taibbi again: "There’s no other way to say it: Barack Obama, a once-in-a-generation political talent whose graceful conquest of America’s racial dragons en route to the White House inspired the entire world, has for some reason allowed his presidency to be hijacked by sniveling, low-rent shitheads."

This is why I can't call myself a Democrat and can't give my support to any one party. No one cares about what they're doing. Everyone is chasing the money. And those kind of people don't get my support. Nor do they want it.

That's why I say it's a Pyrrhic victory. Because it's a win for Obama's corporate masters, but, if he's not careful, it's going to destroy his party.

This Is Why Sarah Palin Supporters Scare Me

Not because they're ignorant, misinformed, and prejudiced... but because they're so very proud of being those things. No one is as strident and immovable as someone who doesn't know what they're talking about.

Video via AmeriNZ

Happy Hanukkah

It's a day late, but for anyone celebrating, Happy Hanukkah.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Because It Ain't Christmas Without Muppets

Yes! A brand new Muppet viral! Beaker, Animal, and the Swedish Chef with their rendition of "Carol of the Bells."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Brief Note About Tiana

This is really starting to bug me.

For some reason, Disney has been repeating this story that Anika Noni Rose is the first woman to play a Disney princess and do both the speaking and singing voice of the character.

Which is a nice story, I guess, except that it's not true.

She's actually the sixth. Adriana Caselotti as Snow White, Ilene Woods as Cinderella, Mary Costa as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Jodi Benson as Ariel, and Paige O'Hara as Belle all did their own singing when they played Disney princesses. So I don't understand why they're pushing this story as part of the publicity for The Princess and the Frog.

I understand that Disney has a lot riding on this film, but do they really need to take away from their past accomplishments to make this one look groundbreaking? I find that really sad.

The Desecration of A Charlie Brown Christmas

One of my Christmas traditions, like many other people in America, is watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on television. I watched it on Tuesday night and thought something was wrong. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it seemed shorter and faster than usual. It didn't have that deliberate, sincere pacing I talked about Charlie Brown cartoons having recently.

Well, I'm glad I ran across this letter, which I am reproducing here in its entirety:

TO: ABC
FROM: Leon Lynn
RE: Desecration of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
12/8/09

Dear ABC,

How could you?

For years and years I have awaited the network broadcast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” as the true herald of the holiday season. I brought my kids up with the same tradition — one which has been made no less special for us by the fact that they happen to be Jewish.

Tonight we sat in horror and watched what you have done to the single greatest cartoon ever made.

How many minutes did you cut out of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” so you could run more commercials?

Gone was Sally’s materialistic letter to Santa, which finally sends Charlie screaming from the room when she says she will settle for 10s and 20s.

Gone was Schroeder’s miraculous multiple renditions of “Jingle Bells” from a toy piano, including the one that sounds distinctly like a church organ.

Gone was Linus using his blanket as an improvised slingshot to knock a can off the fence no one else can hit, complete with ricochet sound effect.

Gone were the kids catching snowflakes on their tongues and commenting on their flavor.

Gone even was poor Shermy’s only line. He thought he had it bad because he was always tasked to play a shepherd. He had no idea.

And why were all these classic scenes cut? To plug more ads into the show, of course. To sell burgers and greeting cards — and to relentlessly plug the insipid-looking new Disney “soon to be a classic” show immediately following. (I didn’t watch the new show, by the way. I was laid far too low by what had just happened.)

Cramming all of these ads into the 30-minute broadcast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” required major edits to a cartoon that has spent 44 years now trying to remind us that Christmas is supposed to transcend crass commercialism.

Do you have no sense of irony?

A couple of weeks ago I noted that you can now buy a plastic replica of the pathetic little real-wood Christmas tree Charlie Brown brings home from the tree lot otherwise monopolized by shiny fake trees. I thought we had sunk as low as we could.

Obviously I was wrong.

Oh, and by the way: The sound was half a second behind the picture: They were not synched properly. I thought this was pretty sloppy for a major TV network, but I was willing to look past it.

What I cannot look past is the chopping to bits of a genuine classic, not just to pump more ads at us, but in direct conflict with the message that has made it a classic.

When I was a kid, the annual broadcast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was a holiday unto itself. It was the only time we ever saw ads for Dolly Madison snack cakes, for one thing. But more importantly, it actually framed the coming holiday for me in a meaningful way.

The shepherds in their fields had no corporate sponsors. Nobody had bought the naming rights for the manger. The infant Jesus did not have an endorsement deal lined up with a particular line of swaddling clothes.

Instead he came, the story goes, to preach universal love, and the abandonment of false ideals like the acquisition of gross material wealth in favor of something far more valuable.

You have not just lost sight of this, or turned your backs on it. You have stomped it into the mud.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

But I bet you aren’t. I bet you’re way past that.

Count my family out for next year.

Sincerely,

Leon Lynn

Sad, sad, sad, but I was watching, and everything he says about it is true. From now on, I'll be watching this special every year on DVD. Thanks for nothing, ABC.

Harry Potter Meme

Found via Tumblr, this Harry Potter meme is kind of lame, but I'm also really, really bored this morning, so here we are.

01. If you went to Hogwarts, which house would you be sorted in?
I believe that's for the Sorting Hat to decide.

02. Have you ever been to a Harry Potter midnight book release?
No, but my wife has. She works in a bookstore.

03. What did you think of Deathly Hallows?
I thought it was a perfectly satisfying end to the series. And I did cry. A couple of times.

04. How many times have you reread the books?
I've only read each book once. Maybe one day I'll read them all again. It would be nice to go straight through the whole series with a different perspective of knowing how it ends.

05. Whose death was the saddest?
Snape's.

06. If you went to Hogwarts, would you rather have a pet owl, cat, or rat?
Owl. Never had one.

07. What did you think of the movie Half-Blood Prince?
I think it's been the best one so far, honestly (other than Prisoner of Azkaban). I think Warner Bros. took the criticism that Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets were too "exact" and "unimaginative" too seriously and have over-compensated since by trying to make the movies too rushed. Part of the reason I liked Half-Blood Prince so much is that it slowed down to let the kids be kids and the characters be characters instead of whipping around from plot point to plot point, which I think was really to the detriment of Order of the Phoenix.

08. What do you think of Deathly Hallows being split in half?
Honestly, I think it could easily be a mistake, but it depends on where they end the first half. Is the second half going to just be a long battle scene?

09. Have you read The Tales of Beedle the Bard?
No, and I don't really have plans to.

10. When did you first become a Harry Potter fan?
1999. I was 22 or 23. Becca had discovered the books right before the third one came out (she got an advance reading copy at work which she still has) and pushed me to read them. I was hooked right away and have been a fan ever since. It's kind of neat, because I got to be amazed by how popular they suddenly became and was very excited by the movie being made.

Favorites
Female Character? Luna Lovegood
Male Character? Harry
Professor? Remus Lupin
Death Eater? Lucius Malfoy
Magical Creature? Buckbeak
Spell? Expecto Patronum
Quote? Any of Dumbledore's variations on "it's our choices, not our abilities, that make us who we are."
Book? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Movie? Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Hogwarts House? Gryffindor, I guess
Place? Hagrid's cabin
Weasley? Ginny
Couple? Hermione and Ron

Everyone Wants a Frog for Christmas

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

In or Out, Luke

These Star Wars re-edits always crack me up.

Um... You Do Know...

...that the USSR had no czars, right?

Oh, wait, you're a teabagger. You don't know anything.

Child of (Too Much) TV

Via Tumblr

A television meme (with various comments throughout).

Rules:
- Bold all of the following TV shows which you’ve ever seen 3 or more episodes of in your lifetime.
- Italicize a show if you’re positive you’ve seen every episode of it.

24
I have yet to see a single episode of this show. I always think I'll check it out on DVD, and then I never do. Some day, I guess...

7th Heaven
I saw part of one episode of this and got bored. Don't know if I'm missing anything or not.

ALF
Alias
Another show I keep thinking I'll see on DVD one day.

American Gothic
America’s Next Top Model
Angel
I DID see this one on DVD. Becca has the first three seasons on DVD, too. I like most of this show, though it really jumps the shark in the third season and anything good after that is really just enjoyable despite it being complete bullshit.

Arrested Development
I have this on DVD. One of my favorite shows ever.

Babylon 5
I know there are episodes of this I missed. I loved it while I was watching it, but I missed the final season. Another one I need to get on DVD and sit with.

Batman: The Animated Series
Battlestar Galactica (the old one)
Battlestar Galactica (the new one)
I haven't seen the new one at all. It just looks so derivative of Farscape to me. I'll probably check it out on DVD eventually, but I'm not really that interested.

Baywatch
Beverly Hills 90210 (original)
This came on when I was in junior high or something, and this was one of my generation's shows. It sucks, but yeah, I watched it for years. And I still love Tori.

Bewitched
Again, I've been watching it a bit recently and am surprised by how much I love the Dick York episodes and hate the Dick Sargent ones. It's like they stopped trying.

Bonanza
Weird. I've actually never seen a single episode of this show.

Bones
I watched this for the first two seasons, and then I got bored and moved on. They kept moving it up against shows I liked better.

Bosom Buddies
Boston Legal
I've never seen it, but my mom tells me I'd enjoy it.

Boy Meets World
Ugh. There are people younger than me who swear by this show, but it's really bad.

Brothers And Sisters
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Yeah, and I always hate it when I do catch it. Seriously, this show just sucks. I get that it's popular, but I've never, ever liked it.

Californication
And it sucks, but there's too much nudity for me to pass it up. Yeah, I'm shallow like that.

Chappelle’s Show
Charlie’s Angels
Charmed
Cheers
One of my favorite shows ever.

Chuck
I got sick of it part-way through the first season.

Clarissa Explains it All
Columbo
Commander in Chief
I wanted to see it, too, and never did.

Crossing Jordan
CSI
I watched the pilot, got bored, and never turned it back on. I'm not much for procedurals.

CSI: Miami
CSI: NY
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Another of my favorite shows ever.

Dark Angel
Dark Skies
DaVinci’s Inquest
I don't even know what this is.

Dawson’s Creek
Boredom and unemployment are terrible things.

Dead Like Me
Deadwood
Another show I really need to see on DVD.

Degrassi: The Next Generation
I watched the original when I was a kid, though.

Designing Women
Desperate Housewives
Surprised by how much I enjoy this show.

Dexter
I know it's critically acclaimed, but I have zero interest in this.

Dharma & Greg
I can't believe how dumb this show got after a while.

Different Strokes
Doctor Who
It's not really possible to have seen every episode, though, is it?

Dragnet
Due South
ER
I didn't watch it, then I watched it in reruns and caught up, then I stopped watching it because it got irritating and ended up catching up again in reruns.

Everwood
Everybody Loves Raymond
I saw one episode I liked, but mostly I find it very shrill.

Facts of Life
Family Guy
Farscape
Perhaps my favorite show in TV history. I have all of it on DVD.

Fawlty Towers
Another all time favorite. I wish I owned this one.

Felicity
Firefly
Sucks.

Frasier
Freaks & Geeks
And another all time favorite, which I also have on DVD. My dad got it for me for Christmas last year, which was awesome.

Friends
I fucking hate this thing.

Fringe
Futurama
Got this one on DVD, too.

Get Smart
Gilligan’s Island
Gilmore Girls
Gossip Girl
Grey’s Anatomy
Grange Hill
Growing Pains
Gunsmoke
Huh, never seen an episode of this, either. I love Westerns, I guess I just don't like them on TV.

Happy Days
I don't know for sure, but this was in syndication when I was a kid (besides being on in first run), so I probably have seen every episode.

Hercules: the Legendary Journeys
Heroes
Home Improvement
Boy, this got irritating fast.

Homicide: Life on the Street
House
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy
Invader Zim
Another one I have on DVD. Including the set with the house and the GIR action figure.

Invasion
Hell’s Kitchen
JAG
Jackass
Yeah, and thanks for that, Becca...

Joey
Kim Possible
Knight Rider
Knight Rider: 2008
Kung Fu
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
La Femme Nikita
LA Law
Laverne and Shirley
Law and Order
Law and Order: SVU
I think this is the dopiest show I've ever seen. No wonder it's so popular...

Law and Order: CI
Leverage
Little House on the Prairie
I watched this a lot as a kid.

Lizzie McGuire
And I'd get it on DVD, too, IF ONLY THAT WERE POSSIBLE, DISNEY!

Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
So, so lame. My roommate used to watch this every week.

Lost
Still haven't seen last season, and I'm not sure if I give a shit or not.

Lost in Space
MASH
A favorite show.

MacGyver
Malcolm in the Middle
Married… With Children
Two of my favorites.

McLeod's Daughters
Melrose Place
The original, yeah.

Miami Vice
I have never actually seen this show.

Mission: Impossible
Mod Squad
Monk
Mork & Mindy
Murphy Brown
I used to love this show. I'd like to see it again, actually.

My Life As A Dog
My Three Sons
My Two Dads
Mythbusters
NCIS
Ned Bigby’s Declassified School Survival Guide
Nip/Tuck
Numb3rs
Another show that's pretty dopey. Yes, math and magic ARE the same thing.

One Tree Hill
Oz
Perry Mason
Power Rangers
When I worked at Target, Power Rangers were all the rage. Every time a video came out, it would be looped constantly in the children's section. Those things only run about 20 minutes, so I've seen a couple of episodes over and over and over again.

Press Gang
Prison Break
Private Practice
Privileged
Love JoAnna Garcia, did not care for this show.

Profiler
Project Runway
Psych
Pushing Daisies
Quantum Leap
One of my all-time faves.

Queer As Folk (US)
Queer as Folk (UK)
ReGenesis
Remington Steele
I've never watched this but always meant to.

Rescue Me
Road Rules
ROME
Roseanne
Wouldn't call it good, but I watched it the entire time it was on. Even that loopy, horrible, ridiculous final season.

Roswell
Sanctuary
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Scrubs
I've seen this a few times. I really hate it.

Seaquest DSV
Seinfeld
Sex and the City
Not a favorite, but I didn't think it was terrible. I need to see the episode with Kat Dennings, because it has Kat Dennings.

Six Feet Under
Slings and Arrows
Smallville
Is it worth it? I've always been kind of curious, but never bothered to watch.

So Weird
South of Nowhere
South Park
Spongebob Squarepants
St. Elsewhere
I loved the first season when I got a review copy of the DVDs, but the rest of it never came out. So disappointing. I really wanted to see more.

Star Trek
I can't believe it, but there are a surprising number of episodes I've never seen.

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
I did not care for this one.

Star Trek: Enterprise
I'd like to see the whole thing.

Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Starsky & Hutch
Superman
Which Superman? I've seen the entire animated series, but I've actually never seen an episode of the George Reeves show.

Supernatural
Surface
Survivor
Taxi
Teen Titans
That 70’s Show
That’s So Raven
The 4400
The Addams Family
The Amazing Race
The Andy Griffith Show
Never really cared for this show, either.

The A-Team
The Avengers
The Beverly Hillbillies
Another show I never really cared for.

The Big Bang Theory
The Brady Bunch
The Cosby Show
I stopped watching in the later seasons.

The Daily Show
I don't care, it was funnier before Jon Stewart.

The Dead Zone
The Dick Van Dyke Show
An all time favorite.

The Flintstones
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Wow, did this show get grating, or what?

The Golden Girls
The Honeymooners
The Jeffersons
The Jetsons
The L Word
The Love Boat
The Magnificent Seven
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Monkees
The Munsters
The Office (US)
The Powerpuff Girls
The Pretender
The Real World
I watched the first three seasons.

The Shield
The Simpsons
I stopped watching this a few seasons ago, and now I only watch it occasionally.

The Six Million Dollar Man
The Sopranos
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
The Twilight Zone
The Waltons
The West Wing
I saw one episode of this and thought it was preachy and pointless.

The Wonder Years
The X-Files
I never liked this show very much.

Third Watch
Three’s Company
Twin Peaks
Twitch City
Unfabulous
Ugly Betty
Veronica Mars
I have this on DVD. I wish I'd watched it while it was on. Great, great show.

Weeds
Whose Line is it Anyway? (US)
Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK)
The British version was much funnier.

Will and Grace
Wings
Xena: Warrior Princess

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

THE DUST FACTORY (2004)
I'm not sure what it is about this movie that didn't really work for me. It's about a boy who saw his father die in a train accident and who has been mute ever since. After another accident, he enters a fantasy world with no night and a creepy circus where he can talk. (The power of this transformation is really lessened by the fact that the kid narrates the movie before then, so we're used to his voice, anyway.) Once there, he can communicate with his increasingly-demented grandfather and meets a girl (Hayden Panettiere, who is adorable and vibrant) who helps him to believe in himself and regain his courage. The problem is, there are long dull stretches and although the film's earnestness never devolves into pathos, it still just didn't grab me and engross me the way I wish it had. Hayden's really good, and so is Michael Angarano in a too-small role as the hero's friend. It's a sincere story, but it just didn't work for me. **1/2 stars.

Quick Xmas Rant

If I have one more person lecture me on how using "Xmas" is "X-ing out the Christ in Christmas," I'm going to give them a yuletide punch to the temple. Every year with this shit, over and over again. LOOK IT UP. The internet is a device which gives you access to nearly any information you could ever want, so use it. Look it up on Snopes, for crying out loud. There's a historical precedent for the X, and it was actually started by Christians.

Oh, and "Jesus is the reason for the season"? Please. Look up the history of Christmas and count the number of co-opted pagan traditions and tell me that one again.

Look, I appreciate that you love Jesus and all, but I don't have any more time in my life to be lectured at by Christians who are completely ignorant of the history of their own religion.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The More Things Change...

I don't see a difference here at all.

TV Report: Half the Season Over

Well, pretty much every show is going on hiatus for a couple of weeks, so here's my brief rundown of where I am.

:: There's a rumor that everyone on Heroes is planning for this to be the last season. I've been saying for a couple of months that'll probably be true. I don't know if anything's confirmed yet, but I won't be surprised when it is. Too bad it just never pulled itself out of that second season ratings slump. I think the key problem with the show has been how repetitive it tends to be; it's the same conflicts over and over and over. The only character I care about anymore is Claire, and she just keeps proving how dumb she is, so why bother? I just hope it ends in as semi-but-not-really-satisfying a way as Heroes has proven itself capable of. That was sarcasm.

:: How I Met Your Mother is bouncing back from Barney and Robin being together. It makes Ted less whiny to not be the only single one of them. And The Big Bang Theory is awesome. The recent episode where Sheldon had to take Penny to the hospital is my favorite episode they've ever done.

:: Castle is awesome!

:: I didn't think V was really a bad show, but the four episodes aired were pretty dull. In some areas, they were downright hackneyed. There's just nothing really special or compelling about it, except that I think Morena Baccarin is really good as the leader of the visitors. (Actually, a number of the actors are pretty good, especially Elizabeth Mitchell.) They've got a new showrunner, and it's not coming back until 30 March, but I have to admit, I wouldn't miss it if it never came back. I hope they retool it into something really exciting. Why do networks keep screwing up science fiction?

:: Modern Family may have moved up in my estimation from the best new show on TV to my favorite show on network television. And I am still enjoying Cougar Town.

:: I finally figured out what it is that's been annoying me with The Office since Jim became co-manager: he's become a total dumbass. I mean, I know part of this show's humor has been that the people in corporate--Michael, David Wallace, Charles Minor, Ryan when he was an executive--are completely clueless. But seeing Jim, who was always such a good character because he was so effortlessly sensitive to the people around him and what they needed, turn into a clueless buffoon is just grating on me. Now they've gotten promotions, Jim's a fool and Pam's a bitch. It sucks.

:: This week's 30 Rock was the funniest yet.

:: I think Parks and Recreation gets better and better. They've really discovered the characters and who they are, and seeing different facets of Tom Haverford and Ron Swanson (one of my favorite characters on TV right now) in the last few episodes has been especially fun. If only Community wasn't stinking up the joint at 7pm...

:: Ugly Betty did a couple of things this week that were refreshing. Mostly it involved characters coming to realizations and understandings they should've had a looooong time ago. I think the problem with this show over the last couple of seasons is that some of the more frustrating dramas have been drawn out for far too long while ignoring some of the other characters. (Especially Justin, who is going through a lot at school, but just gets ignored by the show.) I did enjoy some of the shots at scientology in the past few episodes, even though Jamie-Lynn Sigler's Alyssa Milano impression got pretty old. (Okay, maybe she's not trying to be Alyssa Milano. Maybe she's just a crappy actress in the exact same way as Alyssa Milano.)

Becki Newton has been doing one hell of a job as Amanda this season, though.

I feel like this is probably going to be the last season for Ugly Betty, too, and there are times when I feel like I can almost see it starting to wrap up.

:: Other shows I still love but don't feel the need to get into: Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Phineas and Ferb, Jonas, Wizards of Waverly Place (Selena Gomez is God), and Hannah Montana.

:: I say this every season, but every season it's true: best finale ever of Curb Your Enthusiasm. It actually made me consider watching Seinfeld again, a show I've hated for years.

:: Sonny with a Chance ending its season with a clip episode was pretty lame and disappointing. Tiffany Thornton was hilarious on it, though. As always.

:: Did anyone catch the death race episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold? Best DC series ever!

:: The Venture Bros. ... genius. No other word for it. Absolute genius.

Happy Birthday, Sharon Kelly

According to different websites, Ms. Kelly's birthday is either 1 December or 11 December. So I'm either late or I'm early. Either way, I just wanted to send good wishes to someone who had a rather profound effect on my development. I think she's wonderful.

Monday, December 07, 2009

More Star Wars Christmas

The Empire Strikes Back with part of the soundtrack replaced. Surprisingly hilarious.

Kristen Bell Mondays


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Song of the Week: "Cuddly Toy"

Another Monkees song written by Harry Nilsson. This is from 1967. I heard a rumor once that this song was about a girl that got gang-raped by Hell's Angels. I can't imagine that's actually true, but it sure is disturbing. I don't know what episode of The Monkees this is from.

Twilight Summarized by a Smartass, Chapter 22

Why does it seem like I've been between chapters 21 and 24 for the last 10 weeks? Did she start the numbering over again, or something? God, every time I think this book must be about to end, it goes on for another 50 pages.

Anyway, the brief bright spot of character development from Chapter 21 seems like a long, long time ago. It's obliterated completely by this chapter, which is just too overly descriptive and fails to keep any tension going.

Bella, if you remember, has agreed to meet James at her mom's house in order to rescue her mother. She's written a farewell letter to Edward and needs to ditch Alice and Jasper at the airport to escape to James. She's finally made this decision not to sit and wait for her boyfriend to make every one of her life decisions.

As this chapter opens, Alice has another vision of James, and seems to have seen something about Bella that she won't reveal. There is way, way too much description of the airport and precisely how Bella escapes (she ducks out of the bathroom and into an elevator... cunning) and how she makes it home.

And it turns out James doesn't have her mother at all. The voice she heard was from a home movie playing in the background. She's been tricked.

And then... oy, and then.

Then Stephenie Meyer proves that her real ambition is not to write shitty abstinence porn for lonely cat ladies and sexually immature tweens. No, no, her real ambition is to write for Marvel Comics. Because then we get pages of James sneering at Bella, expounding his own cleverness, extolling the virtues of his plan. Seriously, he monologues forever, going on and on about his plan and what he did and how disappointed he is that it was so easy to lure her into his trap. He even goes on and on and on about how he did it. And he goes on and on and on about how he hopes that Edward will show up so they can have some kind of big homoerotic blowout because, you know, it's just no fun for James unless he's getting punched and groped by a total pussy like Edward.

Christ, Doctor Doom is looking at this guy and saying "You wanna keep it brief there, pal?"

And then James goes on even more about how he killed the vampire who changed Alice into a vampire, because Alice smelled so delicious and he really wanted to have her blood for himself. And then he decides he's going to torture Bella and videotape it for Edward, because he is just incredibly fixated on getting Edward angry and having a big tussle with him. James has such a hard on for Edward you'd think Edward had left James on Ceti Alpha V. Okay, I get it: James is gay, and gay people are bad because they don't like normal tortured abstinence. Sorry, but that seems to be the point Stephenie Meyer is making by going on and on and on about this shit. Poor James, he can't get off normally because his desires are so dark, he has to be the villain, what a sick fuck.

This whole book is fucking sick. Seriously, seriously fucking sick.

And then the torture starts, and Bella falls unconscious.

I can not wait until this thing is over. This is the worst book I've ever read.

Sunday Hottie 253

ZOE SALDANA