Saturday, February 26, 2011

2 Years of Marriage

It still feels... well, I don't know, it kind of feels weird to say I'm married, but Becca and I have been together so long, too, that getting married felt natural. I don't know. I just love her and even with all of the things we're bearing with right now (like Becca getting laid off from work), I'm really happy to be with her.

Sap, sap, sappiness.

My sister got married today, too. I guess she damn well better always remember my anniversary since it's the same as hers.

Friday, February 25, 2011

About Face

I've never seen this cartoon before, but it is staggering.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Because Apparently We Have Nothing Important to Bicker About

[picture via]

ME: My friend Jeff had one of these, but I never did. I always thought they were kind of nifty, though.

BECCA: Is that from G.I. Joe?

ME: What?! It's the Cloud Car from The Empire Strikes Back!

BECCA: Oh, right! I just didn't recognize it at first.

ME: Are you kidding me?

BECCA: Jeez, why are you so touchy about it?

ME: I just expect the woman who married me to know something like that.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ET-X: Extinction

At last: the trailer mash-up for the ET sequel that, honestly, I'm surprised Hollywood hasn't made yet.

President Obama: You Do Not Get It

Cutting the energy assistance fund for low income households?

A public spending freeze to 2008 levels?

Stabbing your base in the back?

Punishing the poor for being poor?

And all to curry favor with people who will never, ever like you?

A political party that denounces government intervention in the same breath it votes to let corporations control what everyone does on the internet?

A political party that blocked the Consumer Products Safety Commission from making a public database of computer complaints?

A political party where, according to a recent poll, 51% of the registered voters aren't even sure you were actually born in America?

A political party that could beat you in 2012 no matter who they ran? In a Gallup poll last week, results showed that the decision between Obama and a generic Republican candidate is split 45% to 45%. I sure as shit hope we aren't looking at President Boehner in a couple of years.

Are you aware, sir, that the same poll showed that only 51% of 18-34 year-olds and 43% of 35-54 year-olds would vote to re-elect you?

I will not be one of them.

Frankly, I regret voting for you the first time. I regret the lack of alternative parties with any power in this nation.

I regret you.

You may be a smart man, but you have no spine.

Film Week

A review of the one film I managed to see this week.

Privileged, self-obsessed white people have privileged, self-obsessed white people problems. Whiny and forgettable, and I only really saw it because I fell asleep watching something else (this was the day after my all-night Call of Duty experience) and when I woke up I saw Amy Adams' name in the opening credits. I think I have to stop giving that any weight. (Especially after Julie and Julia, ugh.) * star.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Exposing Scientology

I finally managed to sit down and read the long--but very worthwhile--New Yorker article on Paul Haggis and the "church" of scientology. It's a very interesting article, and it does what a lot of good journalism does--you'd recognize it if we really had such a thing as good journalism on a regular basis anymore--and allows the subjects in question to hang themselves with their own words. Every time "church" officials try to deflect accusations, they only come across as more evil, bigger liars, and more dangerous.

I remember the first time I had heard of scientology. It was the mid-eighties, and that cheesy commercial for L. Ron Hubbard's book Dianetics was on TV constantly. A man came to talk to my Sunday School class about scientology, and warn us about the dangers of getting mixed up with these people. He talked about audits, about what recruiters would say to you and how they would pitch the whole thing, and how hard it was to get away from these people once you'd started the journey. In the New Yorker piece, author Lawrence Wright talks a bit about people who have had to escape the reeducation centers and camps by, for example, driving a car through a fence. The man who spoke to my class said he was lucky enough to escape by--"like in an old prison movie," he said--hiding in the laundry and getting out of the laundry van when he was miles away. He talked to about how people from the "church" try to find you afterwards, too. I remember walking away and thinking that these were some pretty scary people.

Frankly, nothing's ever dissuaded me from the opinion that the "church" of scientology is an organization of scary people. And for every story I hear--as in the New Yorker piece--about reeducation camps and physical abuse and brainwashing and child labor and human trafficking and what I can only describe as the essential murder of Lisa McPherson, there are more that people don't even mention. I'm kind of surprised the article didn't go into things that are well-documented, such as Operation Snow White, the infiltration of the government in order to remove all negative mentions of L. Ron Hubbard and the "church," or Operation Freakout, the "church"'s attempt to drive an author insane or to imprison her on false charges of terrorist threats (whichever was easier).

Hell, Wikipedia has an entire page on scientology controversies.

Scientology would be utterly ridiculous if it weren't for the scary adherents who do their best to make sure that their cult operates in shadowy secrecy while being classified as a tax-exempt religion. These people are deluded. They are dangerous. And it's good to know that the FBI is investigating these claims of human trafficking. This is the work of a deluded, bigoted, self-loathing hack author who made up lies about himself, pulled doctrine and cosmology out of his ass, and spent years at sea with an army of teenage boys. And there are people willing to kill to protect it.

Scary shit, man. Religion is bullshit; scientology is the most bullshit of the bullshit.

Monday, February 21, 2011

25 Years of Zelda

Hard to believe, but The Legend of Zelda was released for the NES 25 years ago today. It's been quite a gaming legacy; I've never played a Zelda game that I didn't love (except possibly Zelda II: The Adventure of Link). Loving the world of Hyrule was a big factor in my buying the Wii instead of the PS3 when it came time for a new system. I think I'll be playing these games for another quarter-century.

Kristen Bell Mondays

I can't believe this makes 100 Kristen Bell Mondays.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Song of the Week: "Our House"

Another great British band--one of my faves--that's never been up here before. Madness, 1982, from their masterpiece, Madness Present the Rise and Fall.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

9pm: Game goes in.

Okay, the controls and angles take some getting used to... this is okay, I guess... haven't played one of these on the Wii yet, that's kind of cool... maybe I'll send this back early... sure, goodnight, honey, I'll be along in a few minutes... okay, just another level... NUCLEAR EXPLOSION, HOLY SHIT!... okay, just another level, then... damn, okay, I can do this... shit, that's a lot of enemy soldiers, let me just cut through these guys... crap, I know I can get all of these guys, just hang on... NUCLEAR MISSILES LAUNCHED, HOLY FUCK!... alright, that's it, I'm going to get you, Zakhaev... oh, fuck, so damn close... WOW, what a whirlwind... that was some intense shit.

5:30am: Game is turned off, completed.

Becca steps out of the shower.

BECCA: Are you... did you stay up all night playing that game?

ME: ... Hey, I just narrowly prevented the nuclear holocaust of the eastern seaboard and made the world safe for democracy, how about a little gratitude?