Saturday, May 12, 2012

Katurday Because Holy Shit

For the record, I take back what I said about not missing 2 Broke Girls if it got canceled...

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's Happening!

The LEGO Lord of the Rings video game I idly hoped for is actually going to happen, and is coming late in the fall, probably around the time The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey gets released!

There are no words. No words...

I Don't Know Why Anyone Pays Attention to Anything Bristol Palin Says, Even If It's Just to Talk About What a Dumbass She Is

But since she wants to play this game, I think a more accurate way to report her ignorant comments on President Obama's (let's be honest, politically calculated and long-overdue but still quite welcome) stance on gay marriage would be the following (emphases mine):

"While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads. In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage. As great as her friends may be – we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home," said unwed teenage mother Bristol Palin.

Seriously, you have every right to your opinion in this country, no matter how uninformed. What you don't have the right to is being taken seriously when every word out of your mouth is a hypocritical stupidity.

Why the fuck are we even pretending she's famous in some way?

Some Mitt Romney Links

I've been doing my best not to talk a lot about the 2012 election, because I'm sure we're all tired of it and, frankly, I'm sick of the dumbass right wing comments that talking about it invites. I'm sick of the unreasonable coming here and trying to plow over everyone's opinions rather than actually, say, addressing what I say from their supposedly conservative viewpoint. In a world where everyone's opinion is their gospel and any disagreement is taken as an attack, politics get you nowhere online except in the same spin with the same idiots. So yeah, I'm sick of it.

For those of you who would like to be informed about Mitt Romney's total lack of character, here are a couple of links I found interesting today:

First, there's this Washington Post piece that illustrates Romney's past as a prep school bully who (at least) once attacked another kid for the sin of being different. Romney was forced into an awkward, hollow half-apology where he claimed not to remember the incident (which I would believe only if it was because he's done so many similar things to so many others that he can't remember specifics, which is certainly within the realm of possibility), but was still somehow able to remember that his victim later came out of the closet... at least enough to swear that the attack wasn't related to any sort of homophobia because, like, gayness didn't exist in 1965, man.

Then there's some commentary here at The Angry Black Woman, who puts the incident and the attitude/environment that created it into long-term perspective.

And finally, Charles P. Pierce at Esquire has some very insightful commentary about Romney's... again, I want to use the word character, but doing so in the case of Mitt Romney would cheapen the very meaning of the word itself. Pierce's assertion that Romney puts everyone into two classes, Himself and The Help, is pretty much the perfect way to define literally every single thing this shell has uttered in his endless campaign.

I concede that it may not be fair to pull out stupid, cruel things that Romney did in his childhood and hold them against him (the way the Right has weakly tried to point out that Obama ate dog as a boy in Indonesia as some sort of cruel character flaw), but his unapologetic and baffled response to the story and the way that pattern of behavior--that opportunism and morally righteous anger--has continued unbroken throughout his adult life speaks volumes about the man.

I've been lectured at length by a number of online armchair Libertarians who have insisted that Mitt Romney is going to be the next President of the United States. I'm not sure why they're pinning all of their hopes on a soulless piece of slime who will say anything--whether he believes it or not--to become the President, simply because he believes his life of privilege and entitlement demands it. But I've also come to realize that most of the Libertarians I get talked at by--the ones who don't want to have a discussion, but who merely want to sound off on how right they are--have embraced Libertarianism as an intellectually dishonest way of being Republicans. All of the repressive social conservatism, none of the personal responsibility they claim to champion. Are you surprised I just delete their comments?

Anyway, check those links out if you're interested.

UPDATE 10:03 PM: Another short commentary I found myself relating to. There are few things I despise more than a bully. Check that: there's nothing I despise more than a bully.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Mask of Zorro

Last night I ended up watching The Mask of Zorro on one of the HBOs. I just sort of ran across it and got caught up watching it. I can't remember the last time I watched this movie... years and years ago. I'd forgotten just how much I dug it. I remember now that I went to see it two or three times in the theater and was really excited by it; it was the kind of adventure movie I thought they'd stopped making in the 1980s. It reminded me of a lot of things--how much I used to like stars Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, how disappointing it is that director Martin Campbell could make such a fantastic adventure and make Green Lantern such a joyless dud, how awful sequel The Legend of Zorro was. It was like going back to a completely different time in my life and my tastes... nearly 15 years ago! It still holds up; it's just a fun B-adventure flick that takes old adventure movie cliches and doesn't reinvent them (or approach them with the slick, cynical, too-cool-for-school attitude that infects so many blockbusters, even then), but instead embraces them and revels in them, and illustrates how thrilling they can be if approached with a devil-may-care sense of elan. What a fun movie and what a kick to see it again.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Pretty Much Everything I Want to Say About North Carolina's Amendment 1

America... for a country that claims to be about freedom, you sure do love to take rights away from people.

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week. Frankly, I'm a little high on prescribed antidepressants right now, and I'm kind of pissed that Blogger ate my first draft, so I've not really got the energy for full reviews. So here we are:

PARIAH (2011) **** Beautiful film about identity.

A SEPARATION (2011) **** Fascinating look at the Iranian legal system, gender relations, and class relations.

THE SITTER (2011) ** Not as bad as you've heard, but still a miscalculation. Another attempt to make a John Hughes movie that actually wouldn't be bad if it was remotely funny. All the other elements are right there.

HYSTERIA (2011) * Film about the invention of the vibrator in Victorian England, stupidly played as though it were tremendously hilarious. Because why make an interesting film about gender relations when you can make an idiotic, shrill drawing-room comedy for the type of people who think hearing the word "penis" is shockingly naughty and hilarious? This flick really seems to think it's going to make ladies faint and gentlemen drop their monocles.

CIRCUMSTANCE (2011) **** Beautiful, sad Iranian film about two girls who fall in love with each other and how their opportunities for happiness are taken away from them in a country that doesn't value their happiness. Why am I seeing so many of the best films of last year just now?

THE AVENGERS (2011) **** Detailed thoughts here.

(On a side note, I was disappointed to see someone leave a long comment on the post and then delete their comments. I didn't necessarily agree with your points, but they were interesting points. I don't mind if you disagree with me, I just don't want to be attacked personally for my irrelevant opinions, and you did nothing even close to that, so I very much appreciated what you had to say.)

SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME (2012) **** Saddening but fascinating PBS documentary detailing one of America's worst human rights abuses--the kind of thing we're always chastising other countries for. I didn't realize just how large and detailed and thoroughly dehumanizing the post-Civil War program of leasing African-American prisoners was. I was already well aware that an African-American at a certain point could legally be arrested for loitering and put in a prison work detail; I just didn't realize before how profitable it was and for how long someone could be kept ground down under this arrangement. It's a disgusting event from our often-disgusting history, and something that went on for far too long, sometimes with federal knowledge. I admire Teddy Roosevelt, but finding out here that he could turn a blind eye to this kind of abuse for the sake of the Southern economy is disheartening in the extreme. I also didn't realize the large role this played in popularizing the misconception (read: filthy lie) that black people were more "apt" to be criminals.

NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS (1958) *** I think it loses something in the second half when the plot gets a bit convoluted, but Andy Griffith is just so dang likable. I really would've loved to see him do more movies in this time period. He does guileless innocence here as compellingly as he did dangerous charisma in A Face in the Crowd. Maybe I'll watch The Andy Griffith Show... it's on Neflix and I've never actually seen it before.

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA (1958) **1/2 So much distracting bluescreen... Stilted; it misses the sweep of the sea and the drama of the old man's life that was such a part of the story (pretty much the only Hemingway work I ever liked). Instead onscreen it's just Spencer Tracy sitting in a boat in a studio tank.

WIN WIN (2011) ***1/2 Thomas McCarthy's third film isn't quite the graceful connection that The Station Agent and The Visitor are, but it's still an amiable film with a grain of truth in it. I particularly liked Amy Ryan, who I want to see in so many more movies.

DANCE OF THE WEED (1941) ***1/2
MRS. LADYBUG (1940) ***1/2
Really well-animated Rudy Ising cartoons for MGM. His work never had the easy grace or the fulfilling storytelling of Disney, but they're not wastes of time.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Song of the Week: "Jimmy James"

Beastie Boys, 1992. RIP, MCA.