Saturday, March 21, 2009

March Madness Bracket Breakdown Rd. 1 and Round 2 picks

March Madness 2009

Bracket Breakdown – Round 1

Euripides said it best – “Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.” – Had he lived into the era of big-time college basketball Ol’ Rip might have added, “,,,they first make March madness.” Round one made me mad, as in insane. Thursday was fine, 14-2. The sun was shining, all was right with the world. And then Friday, the madness kicked in. Down goes #4 Wake Forest with three potential NBA players to #13 Cleveland State. Down goes #5 Florida State to #12 Wisconsin. I guess the Seminoles didn’t want to win for fear that like the football team they might just have to give it back. Down goes #8 Ohio State, no big deal really as a the #9 Siena Saints were picked by just about everybody. Except, in a fit of contrarianism worthy of the genius stockpickers of CNBC, me. Down goes overseeded #5 Utah to underseeded #12 USC. (I had this one but it’s here to add to the madness.) And down goes #6 West Virginia who I had thought capable of a deep run, to the #11 Dayton Flyers, a team whose nickname brought back memories of a simpler time, of flying machines and barnstorming pilots landing in haystacks, and who thoroughly outplayed the slick hicks from Morgantown. And even Pitt and Kansas looked very beatable against low, low seeds from East Tennessee and North Dakota. And when the dust settled it said 10-6 and a .625 winning percentage will almost always guarantee a first place finish in baseball, in picking an NCAA pool winner, not even close. So, as Euripides said so famously in Medea, his masterpiece about madness, “On to Round 2.”

Saturday’s Picks Round 2:

East Regional

Villanova over UCLA. Another home game in Philly for ‘Nova and this one won’t come down to a last shot against UCLA.

Texas over Duke. Republican Coach K repeats Republican talking points as he says the President should concentrate on the economy and not fill out brackets. Hmmm? Guess Coach K shouldn’t have lent his (and Duke’s) name to that fundraiser for faux-Senator Liddy Dole years back. Hypocrite with a tiny mouth and a stupid, creatively mispronounced name. (Is it clear just how much I hate Coach K? Good.) I also think Texas has too much bulk in the frontcourt. Now let’s hope they can get some calls in Grennsboro.

South Regional

North Carolina over LSU. The crowd will be all Carolina Blue and the Tarheels will come in waves and the boys from Baton Rouge will be beaten bloody by their own red stick. Could be closer than that but still it’s Carolina moving on.

Gonzaga over Western Kentucky. The best run of Round 1 was ‘Zaga’s against Akron that went on for almost 9 minutes. I give them two four and a half minute runs against the Hilltoppers but it will be enough.

Oklahoma over Michigan. Which player from Michigan will do what Wrestlemania move on Blake Griffin? And after Blake and his brother move on, which Griffin’s next, Stewie?

West Regional

UConn over Texas A&M. Calhoun will be back and even though he doesn’t suit up the Huskies have more than enough to beat the Aggies.

Washington over Purdue. On a day of great match-ups, this has a chance to be the best.
More importantly, it sets up the all Husky match-up in of course, Glendale, Arizona, everybody’s favorite winter wonderland.

Memphis over Maryland. Are the Tigers as bad and as overseeded as they looked on Thursday against Cal State Northridge? Northridge – epicenter of strip malls and epicenters? I think they’ve got one good game in them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March Madness Predictions - Friday's Games

March Madness 2009

And here are Friday’s picks:

East Regional

Pitt over ETSU. East Tennessee State sounds like a historically Black college, doesn’t it? But it’s not. Outside of that, not much on the ETSU front. Pitt by 25.

Tennessee over Oklahoma State. Red state match-up. But Tennessee’s guys have the NCAA experience. And I’m betting that the players all voted for Obama.

Florida State over Wisconsin. Toney Douglas will make the cheese-heads look like, well, cheese-heads. The Big 10 can’t win a BCS bowl or this game.

Xavier over Portland State. The X-Men, not to be confused with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, will rule until the government bans them.

South Regional

Temple over Arizona State. Temple’s star is named Dionte Christmas. Or Dionte Xmas. But never Dionte Happy Holidays.

Syracuse over Stephen F. Austin. The Orange parlayed 6 OT’s into a 3 seed. They’ll put this one away by the half.

Midwest Regional

Louisville over Morehead State. Morehead just won the play-in. Now they get to play-out. The ‘Ville by 25.

Ohio State over Siena. And the Saints go marching out.

Arizona over Utah. The 12 over 5 plays out here as ‘Zona has 2-3 NBA prospects and Utah has the ghost of Keith Van Horn.

Wake Forest over Cleveland State. Years ago Cleveland State pulled a major upset and that coach ended up in a crack-house. Gave new meaning to the phrase – “Take the rock to the house.”

West Virginia over Dayton. Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins looks and dresses like an Irish mobster extra from Miller’s Crossing. His players call him “Don.”

Kansas over North Dakota State. The kids playing for the Bison are the only young people left in the entire state of North Dakota. Or as most people call it, “Uhhh, Canada?”

USC over BC. The Trojans have length. And height. And mass. And a win.

Michigan State over Robert Morris. The one Big 10 team that can make a very deep run.
And please, ZZ in Italian is pronounced TZ so his name is IT-ZO, not IZ-ZO. Just as it is PETE-ZA, not PIZZ-A. It doesn’t matter how you pronounce Robert Morris. After this game you’ll never hear the name again.

West Regional

Marquette over Utah State. A good team minus a good guard beats a team with guys in their late 20s back from their 2 year Mormon missions.

Missouri over Cornell. They both go up and down the court with some speed. Only the Tigers will score.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March Madness - Round 1 Predictions - Thursday

March Madness 2009

I love basketball. My screen name is NY11399 which is the score of the famous Willis Reed game, Game 7 of the 1969-70 NBA Finals between the Knicks and the Lakers.
I was there at the Garden in the blue seats ($5!!!) behind Marv Albert. I was at the old Garden for the famous college basketball game in the ECAC Holiday festival between Princeton and Michigan, Bill Bradley vs. Cazzie Russell. I remember UCLA winning with Goodrich and Hazzard, Alcindor and Jabbar, Walton and Patterson. I saw Texas Western and I saw Dr. Dunkenstein. I love this game.

Here are Thursday’s picks:

East Regional

VCU over UCLA. Eric Maynor is better than Darren Collison. The Bruins foul constantly and get bailed out at home but may not find the officiating as homerific
in Philly as at Pauley. Last chance to see the future President of the Cameroons, Alfred Aboya, and Josh Shipp, a nothing player who will be doing his nothing in Turkey next year if he’s lucky.

Villanova over American. ‘Nova at home in the cradle of liberty playing American.
How fitting. ‘Nova by 20+.

Texas over Minnesota. How the Big-10 got all these teams in the tournament is beyond me. Maybe the Selection Committee thought it was a hockey tournament. Big 12 over Big 10. By 11.

Duke over Binghamton. This could get ugly. But not quite as ugly as Greg Paulus.

South Regional

North Carolina over Radford. Ty Lawson’s toe woes are more interesting than Radford.
And how many of you thought Ty’s name was Tyrone and not Tywon (not China!).

LSU over Butler. Books will not be written about this match-up.

Western Kentucky over Illinois. I listened to Western win last year on a buzzer-beater while parking at Langer’s Deli on Alvarado in L.A. for the best pastrami outside of Katz’s on Houston St. The Illini’s best guard has a bum hand. And tell me how the Big 10 got all these teams in?

Gonzaga over Akron. The Zips are coached by LeBron’s old high school coach. Their nickname is the Zips. If the Zips could go scoreless that would be so great for headline writers everywhere.

Clemson over Michigan. There will be idiots on CBS and ESPN who think they are cool by shortening Wolverines to Wolves. They are idiots. Wolverines and Wolves are separate and distinct animals. Maybe someone on Michigan can call another time-out they don’t have.

Oklahoma over Morgan State. Blake Griffin is orange. Why didn’t he end up at Syracuse?

Midwest Regional

No games Thursday.

West Regional

UConn over Chattanooga. The UConn Huskies (get it? Yukon? Huskies?) against a team named after a “bend in the Tennessee River”. WTF??? UConn by a million.

Texas A&M over BYU. How can you root for a team from a state that bankrolled the hate of Prop. 8 in California? Not me.

Purdue over Northern Iowa. Almost everyone in Indiana has a Robbie Hummel figurine somewhere on a shelf.

Washington over Mississippi State. Huskies at home. If they can get by Purdue in Round 2 they set up an all-Husky game on March 26th. In the old days Husky was a size in boy’s clothing. Very lame.

Maryland over Cal. Maryland has a Puerto Rican guard named Grievous Vasquez.
The best guard ever out of Puerto Rico was Marquette’s Butch Lee who almost led them to an Olympic win over the US. Question – Puerto Rico’s not a country. How do they have an Olympic team?

Memphis over Cal State Northridge. I say Memphis pulls the Matadors apart like so much pulled pork and wins by 35+ as Calipari wants them to show the world. CSUN,
see lose.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Everything Matters - Watchmen Giant Blue Review 3/11/09


Who watches the Watchmen? The first weekend, 55 million dollars worth of viewers; after that, not so many folks. So, finally, all these years later, an answer to Juvenal’s question. (And no, Juvenal is not some misspelled hip-hop artist’s stage name; he of the many pit bulls.) So yeah, Watchmen. I was curious. I was intrigued. I had seen the first trailer and I had read the graphic novel and I was there Day 1. And it was lame. It was boring. It had not a whit of humor or irony or anything resembling a compelling narrative. So, having watched the Watchmen I feel compelled to write.
And I don’t even care about the missing tentacled monstrosity from space. I’m going
to talk about what was there. Cause what was there sucked.
First off, if the movie (and the book before that) were meant to “reflect contemporary anxieties” I call bullshit. It’s set in 1985. We liberals in the West may not have liked Reagan or Thatcher but in no way were we nearing 12:00 midnight on the Doomsday Clock. The Cuban Missile Crisis two decades earlier, yes. But 1985? No way. The idea of five terms for Nixon, now that would cause anxiety, but imminent nuclear annihilation in 1985, the year of a-Ha’s “Take On Me”, nope. If there was anything we were all afraid of it was the next song by Phil Collins.
So the basic premise that we’re given, that we’re all consumed with the potential for global Hiroshima is just false. And boring. How many more Nixons, how many more prosthetic noses and jowly bass voices and beads of flop sweat while dark eyes dance furtively must we see on screen before Nixon as the Devil is put to rest? The actor playing Nixon looked like the guy from Coach with some baker’s dough stuck on the middle of his face. So much for the Dybbuk.
So the timeframe is wrong and the big demon is lame. Well, let’s go to our heroes, our finely deconstructed super-heroes with damaged ids, egos and libidos.
Dr. Manhattan, or should I say Billy Corgan of Smashing Giant Blue Pumpkins, was bland from the get. That stupid new-agey voice. The giant nakedness, the giant blue junk, his oh-so-symbolic watchmaker father (Benjamin Button does the same thing with the whole prelude with the blind clockmaker – the battle lines behind God and behind science both use watchmaker and clockmaker symbolism) just too fucking much. And when he builds his weird gears-within-gears assemblage on Mars, Giant Manhattan Smurf basically does a clock’s inner workings made into a cathedral by Gaudi.
Or Rolex in Wackyland. He built this city, we get it. And it’s sharp and it hurts.
And the good Doctor’s soap opera backstory? The ex-g.f. with the chemo comb-over, revealed on some tabloid news show? Mexican telenovelas have more intricately plotted and more interesting devices. And they’re made for a sub-literate audience still living an agrarian existence. Hmm, kind of like fanboys except fanboys sub take-out for subsistence farming.
But he does have shading. He makes out with the underage Silk Spectre. He cares about humanity, he doesn’t care about humanity. Before the Dark Knight, before deconstructing the superhero ethos, the only questions posed by fans were simplistic ones on the order of, “Who would win a fight between Superman and Batman?” Ah, the good old days.

And that stupid symbol on his head. Is it the old alchemical symbol for gold? Is it a hydrogen atom? Does it matter? Do we care? I find I do as days later that’s the only question I have about the character. He drew a perfect circle. He’s god. Now draw the pirate and the parrot and go to matchbook art school and leave us all alone.
Nite-Owl? Batman with erectile dysfunction? He’s good. He goes to bad parts of town to talk to old superheroes. He doesn’t quite know what to do with women. He’s got a bit of a paunch. He’s boring as fuck. If anyone asks why actors always want to play bad rather than good, point to Nite-Owl and Rorschach. One’s St. Theresa with night-vision goggles and one’s batshit crazy. And one makes you want to watch and one makes you want to leave. And one more thing - Whether or not Dr, Manhattan’s sperm is cancerous or not, there’s no way his bitch, Silk Spectre, sleeps with this avian loser.
And his name – Dan Dreiberg. Can we get any more lame? I can hear Carson as Art Fern saying, “Ewww, Dan Dreiberg.” Try it at home. A bit nasal. No, more. Good. That alone has more shading than the character itself.
And his love interest, Silk Spectre? As they say in L.A., “what a lox.” Pia Zadora wasn’t available? Sally Field selling Boniva, some bone supplement for the soon-to-die set, is more convincing. Malin Akerman is her name. Malin as in Malign. As in Mail-In, like her performance. Just such a nothing. And now never ever say or write her name again.
Ozymandias, the world’s smartest man, blonde Aryan superman, complete with quasi-Nazi accent. So let’s get this straight – he’s obsessed with Alexander the Great yet he names himself after Rameses the Great, an Egyptian pharaoh. Why not Alexander? Well, cause there’s no famous sonnet by Shelley called Alexander whose theme is the hubris of man. We all die, great and small, and our works and deeds are forgotten. The famous line from the poem “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” is ironic because we’re just looking at ruins. In Watchmen all the irony is removed surgically because his works, the destruction of some of the world’s great cities – IS A CAUSE FOR DESPAIR. Thank you Mr. Moore for taking a poem we’ll be reading for centuries to serve in your book which people will stop reading, oh, about ten minutes after seeing the movie.
And the less said about the lame pet of his, Bubastis was it? A plush toy sold in gas stations? What was up with that? Oh, thjs Ozymandias is weird, look, he’s got one of those? When he kills all his workers, scientists, whatever, so they can accompany him to the next life isn’t that the clue that he’s going to die as well? But he doesn’t? He doesn’t drink the Kool-Aid. Pretty smart, after all.
Which leaves us with the Comedian and Rorschach, the only real flesh and blood characters in the movie.
The Comedian kills Kennedy, he kills the Vietnamese woman carrying his baby, he shoots unarmed demonstrators, and he fathers Silk Spectre. All the killing is bad enough but must every sci-fi fantasy story involve parentage that’s traced to the worst of us ala Darth Vader? He’s the Comedian not because he’s funny but because he knows that life is pointless and meaningless – it’s all a joke, a great, big cosmic joke. He dies early in the film but then jeeps coming back into the stories of others for the entire almost-three hours of the film. Having sat through the film, I know exactly how he felt.

But at least he had some character and some blood and some contradictions. He was a human being. As was Rorschach, the man with Mask of a Thousand Blots. With a childhood comprised of equal parts Dickens and Cormac McCarthy, Rorschach is a staunch defender of the truth. It may be his truth, but at least it’s truth. His death at the end gave me the only lasting image of the film – the snow angel made of his blood and viscera. I know it’s in the book but it looked great on the screen. And in terms of a hero, what better hero than a damaged sociopath who only wants the Truth? And since there won’t be a sequel, at the end we are left hoping that his journal gets published so THAT PEOPLE WILL KNOW THE HORROR AND THE TRUTH.
If only they’d published it before I went to see the movie.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Greatest Smackdown Ever of Creationism/Intelligent Design

How to respond to requests to debate creationists
Category: Creationism
Posted on: February 18, 2009 4:15 PM, by PZ Myers

professor at the University of Vermont, Nicholas Gotelli, got an invitation to debate one of the clowns at the Discovery Institute. Here's what they wrote.

Dear Professor Gotelli,

I saw your op-ed in the Burlington Free Press and appreciated your support of free speech at UVM. In light of that, I wonder if you would be open to finding a way to provide a campus forum for a debate about evolutionary science and intelligent design. The Discovery Institute, where I work, has a local sponsor in Burlington who is enthusiastic to find a way to make this happen. But we need a partner on campus. If not the biology department, then perhaps you can suggest an alternative.

Ben Stein may not be the best person to single-handedly represent the ID side. As you're aware, he's known mainly as an entertainer. A more appropriate alternative or addition might be our senior fellows David Berlinski or Stephen Meyer, respectively a mathematician and a philosopher of science. I'll copy links to their bios below. Wherever one comes down in the Darwin debate, I think we can all agree that it is healthy for students to be exposed to different views--in precisely the spirit of inviting controversial speakers to campus, as you write in your op-ed.

I'm hoping that you would be willing to give a critique of ID at such an event, and participate in the debate in whatever role you feel comfortable with.

A good scientific backdrop to the discussion might be Dr. Meyer's book that comes out in June from HarperCollins, "Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design."

On the other hand, Dr. Belinski may be a good choice since he is a critic of both ID and Darwinian theory.

Would it be possible for us to talk more about this by phone sometime soon?

With best wishes,
David Klinghoffer
Discovery Institute

You'll enjoy Dr Gotelli's response.

Dear Dr. Klinghoffer:

Thank you for this interesting and courteous invitation to set up a debate about evolution and creationism (which includes its more recent relabeling as "intelligent design") with a speaker from the Discovery Institute. Your invitation is quite surprising, given the sneering coverage of my recent newspaper editorial that you yourself posted on the Discovery Institute's website:

However, this kind of two-faced dishonesty is what the scientific community has come to expect from the creationists.

Academic debate on controversial topics is fine, but those topics need to have a basis in reality. I would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a Holocaust revisionist. These ideas have no scientific support, and that is why they have all been discarded by credible scholars. Creationism is in the same category.

Instead of spending time on public debates, why aren't members of your institute publishing their ideas in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences? If you want to be taken seriously by scientists and scholars, this is where you need to publish. Academic publishing is an intellectual free market, where ideas that have credible empirical support are carefully and thoroughly explored. Nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory or scientific proof of the existence of a god. That would be Nobel Prize winning work, and it would be eagerly published by any of the prominent mainstream journals.

"Conspiracy" is the predictable response by Ben Stein and the frustrated creationists. But conspiracy theories are a joke, because science places a high premium on intellectual honesty and on new empirical studies that overturn previously established principles. Creationism doesn't live up to these standards, so its proponents are relegated to the sidelines, publishing in books, blogs, websites, and obscure journals that don't maintain scientific standards.

Finally, isn't it sort of pathetic that your large, well-funded institute must scrape around, panhandling for a seminar invitation at a little university in northern New England? Practicing scientists receive frequent invitations to speak in science departments around the world, often on controversial and novel topics. If creationists actually published some legitimate science, they would receive such invitations as well.

So, I hope you understand why I am declining your offer. I will wait patiently to read about the work of creationists in the pages of Nature and Science. But until it appears there, it isn't science and doesn't merit an invitation.

In closing, I do want to thank you sincerely for this invitation and for your posting on the Discovery Institute Website. As an evolutionary biologist, I can't tell you what a badge of honor this is. My colleagues will be envious.

Sincerely yours,

Nick Gotelli

P.S. I hope you will forgive me if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the Discovery Institute. This has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

WHY DOES A PERSON BECOME A REPUBLICAN?, Nate Silver's terrific site, has a great post up by Sean Quinn called WHY DOES A PERSON BECOME A REPUBLICAN? The comments are thought-provoking. Here's mine"

David Castro said...
Why Does a Person Become a Republican?

Fear of The Other
which leads to
Hatred of the Other
which blends perfectly with
Your Own Feeling of Superiority
which justifies in your mind
Your Racism and Sexism and all other isms
which you will deny to your dying day since
You Live in a Constant State of Denial
You Have Never Spent an Introspective Moment
Truthfully, Painfully Examining Your Life
You Believe in Your Own Innate Superiority
The Others are not like you
You Are Better

February 28, 2009 8:44 AM

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire uncut full feature spoof Redneck Slumdog Millionaire

As tribute to the Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire, we created a redneck spoof. Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Everything Matters - 2/23/09 - Oscars Wrap-Up Edition

Everything Matters – 2/23/09 – Oscars Wrap-Up

Things I Learned During Last Night’s Oscars:

Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller are the same size. Which makes them the
same size as the kids from Slumdog.

When they had the 5 previous winners in the acting categories stand in an arc
and look all noble and serious (i.e. Tilda Swinton wearing Greek statue drapery)
it reminded me of numerous ludicrous Star Trek episodes where Greek gods or
super-aliens stand around in an arc looking all noble and serious as they force
Kirk and Spock to fight for their lives and the lives of the crew of the Enterprise.

And wouldn’t it have livened up the show if Supporting Actress nominees
Amy Adams and Penelope Cruz had to fight for the Oscar AND their lives?!
And the lives of the crew of the Enterprise?!

Robert Pattinson, the young male vampire from Twilight, has yin sanpaku eyes.
Sanpaku eyes is the Japanese concept for "three whites," wherein the white of the eye
is visible below the iris, above the lower lid. Thought by some to indicate ill health, mental imbalance, and a possible foretelling of tragedy; thought by others to be very sexy and charismatic. Other famous people with Yin Sanpaku eyes include Marilyn Monroe, JFK, RFK and Abraham Lincoln. This is the single most interesting thing about this
remarkably vapid-looking actor.

While we’re talking vapidity, Zac Efron’s face has no affect. None. He looks like
he could be a soulless serial killer or rolled up inn a ball, rocking for hours in that little cabinet under the sink.

In the Oscar swag given to the stars last night, each A-lister got to take home a
Slumdog kid.

Stiller was brilliant as Serpico-wannabe Joaquin Phoenix. Brad Pitt’s already
planning to top him. Next year Pitt’s going to show up with Octo-Mom Nadya
Suleman and fuck with everybody.

Or better yet, Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina’s ex, shows up with Nadya Suleman.

I’m Daniel Craig. I’m James Bond. I sleep with the most beautiful, most glamorous, sexiest women alive. And I’m presenting an Oscar with Sarah Jessica Parker???
Everybody’s grandmother would refer to her looks as “interesting”. Which is
Grandmother-speak for “sheesh”.

Phillipe Petit did magic and balanced the Oscar on his chin. He was great.
Next year’s host – the guy at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco who does both
those things AND juggles chainsaws.

Two great things about last night’s show – No Jack Nicholson and no Robin Williams
making 37 references to Jack Nicholson.

I know she makes movies and I know some may have made money. But does anyone really think that Jennifer Aniston is a movie star???

Is there a soul who thought that both Sean Penn and Jerry Lewis would epitomize graciousness? Penn’s acceptance speech was heartfelt, pointed and smart.
And Lewis was classy and brief. And just as he did after not winning for Dreamgirls,
and even though he was presenting the award, Eddie Murphy left the Oscars immediately after NOT winning the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award.

Has Beyonce’s mother ever made clothes for anyone other than Beyonce and her sister?
Were any of the last night’s stars wearing anything from the Beyonce’s Mother’s

Greatest acceptance speech ever – the Japanese guy who won an animation Oscar
and thanked his pencil, the Academy and animation itself. And then actually said,
Domo arigato, Mister Roboto. And somewhere in “classic rock world”, Dennis de
Young of Styx has to buy another round for Loverboy and Air Supply.

Sophia Loren knew Machiavelli personally. And she still looked great.

Steve Martin and Tina Fey are now comedy’s Tracy and Hepburn. And in 20
seconds they obliterated the lunacy that is the “religion” called Scientology.
Obama, you want to balance the budget? Take away Scientology’s tax-exempt status.

Insufferable? Pretentious? Smug? Meet Jack Black.

The guy who won for Speilzeugland said it took 4 years to make a 14 minute movie.
That’s 3 and a half minutes a year. I think James Franco and Seth Rogen as the stoners
in Pineapple Express work at a faster pace. Which leads me to believe that unified Germany has some really great pot.

Meryl Streep’s daughter’s name is Mamie Gummer. Amazingly enough, “Mamie? Gummer.” is what Dwight Eisenhower used to say to his wife when he was feeling stressed out.

When they didn’t see Owen Wilson at the Oscars did any of his friends go to his
house to make sure he was okay?

Little-known Oscar fact: Ryan Seacrest is not allowed inside the building.

Prior to last night’s show, Kate Winslet’s dad could only be heard by dogs and
Kate Winslet.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Everything Matters-2/19/09-Oscars Edition - part 6 (the last)

Everything Matters – 2/19/09 – Academy Awards Edition – Part 6

SUPPORTING ACTOR – the nominees are Josh Brolin/Milk,
Robert Downey Jr./Tropic Thunder, Philip Seymour Hoffman/Doubt,
Heath Ledger/The Dark Knight, and Michael Shannon/Revolutionary Road.
Has there ever been as great a lock to win anything as Heath Ledger to win
Best Male Supporting Actor? Maybe Secretariat to win the Belmont after
winning the Kentucky Derby by something like 37 lengths. And I’m not so sure Secretariat’s performance was any better than that by Heath ledger as The
Joker. He will be missed. And nice of the Academy to announce today that when he wins his Oscar will go to his daughter Matilda… when she turns 18!
Hmmm, somebody go to Shirley Temple’s house. She got one when she was like 6.
Oh, but she was already sleeping with Harry Warner… Never mind.
So Josh, Robert, Philip and Michael, thank you playing. We’ve got some wonderful parting gifts for you including the home version of the Academy Awards and
some Z-Brick wall tile and we hope to see you again sometime.
Just not here on this stage tonight.

BEST ACTRESS – Anne Hathaway/Rachel Getting Married, Angelina Jolie/Changeling,
Melissa Leo/Frozen River, Meryl Streep/Doubt, and Kate Winslet/The Reader.
Okay, Melissa Leo, great that you’re here for a small, indie film. You represent all the talented indie actresses out there who aren’t murdered by Phil Spector and just continue
to do quality work year in an year out. But there’s no way in hell you’re getting an Oscar tonight.
And Angelina, with your pipe-cleaner arms and legs you’re almost believable as an actual human rather than an action heroine who packs a punch. If you made a fist I’m afraid the bones in your hands would poke through the skin so please don’t. You do look good in a cloche. But Oscar hasn’t given an award to anyone in a cloche since 1935. Next.
Meryl, you’ve got about 9 Oscars but please, not for this overblown, hyper-melodramatic
soap opera about priestly and sisterly (nunly?) shenanigans in the Bronx years ago.
Priests molesting children and the twist is SHE NEVER MADE THE CALL TO HIS OLD PARISH BUT HE LEFT ANY WAY??? Like O. Henry. Unpublished O. Henry.
Anne Hathaway gave the best performance of the year as the sister interrupted in Rachel Getting Married. She was tough, she was crazy, she was victimized, she was cold-blooded. In other words she totally inhabited this character. Terrific.
But she won’t win cause the Academy likes Holocaust stories and special needs stories.
And Kate Winslet plays an unrepentant Nazi, BUT SHE CAN’T READ. A special-needs Nazi. Her final solution is learning to read. I hated this film but she will win because the Academy does not ask me to be the final arbiter on taste. Yes, Germany needs to constantly reevaluate their national soul. A good place to be would be with their Hitler Youth Pope and his friend, the Holocaust denying Bishop.
Kate Winslet, Oscar winner.

BEST ACTOR – and the nominees are Richard Jenkins/The Visitor, Frank Langella/Frost/Nixon, Sean Penn/Milk, Brad Pitt/The CC of BB, and Mickey Rourke/
The Wrestler.
Again, Richard Jenkins, the male Melissa Leo, thank you for playing our game.
Make sure to get Brad’s autograph on the way out.
Frank Langella, nice caricature, nice cartoon, but I’m tired of hearing how great he was as Nixon. I always felt that I was watching Frank Langella ACT. A great actor, a great performance, would’ve made me forget that. Sorry, Frank. (The great Mr. By-the-by from The 12 Chairs)
Brad Pitt, a true triumph of something, lets call it PEP, performance enhanced performance (technology akin to steroids in baseball) but certainly not acting.
No way.
It’s a contest between two heavyweights – Sean Penn, brilliant as dead gay martyr Harvey Milk, and Mickey Rourke, brilliant as soon to be dead WWE martyr
Randy”the Ram” Robinson. Penn was great except for the guns. Harvey Milk had arms like Angelina Jolie. Sean has guns like Suge Knight. Just weird when they were on screen.
And Rourke looked like he really did have staples shot into his back. I think he really had a bypass. He’s got to win. If only to hear his speech. And he might just bring his surviving dogs on stage with him to accept. With a shout-out to Loki. Yes!

BEST PICTURE – and the nominees are The CC of BB, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, and Slumdog Millionaire.
Basically a two-horse race between Milk and Slumdog.
The CC of BB will go down in history as the most nominations and the fewest wins.
But hey, it’s history.
Frost/Nixon, about as historically accurate as The 13th Warrior and that at least had Vikings and Neanderthals. On horseback!
The Reader, the reveal that she couldn’t read was about as subtle as the Woman is really a Man reveal, clear to anyone who ever lived in a big city, or had ever seen men and women before, in The Crying Game from a few years back. And do we really have to hear Kate Winslet prattle on about how she’s proud of her real woman’s body and how she likes her ass these days? Good for you, Kate. I’m glad you’ve beaten that whole negative self-image thing. But I go to the movies to see people I might not see in my bedroom. Oh wait. That’s what the internet is for. Never mind.
Milk would’ve won in any year without Slumdog so sorry, Harvey, and all the sons of Harvey. Your story will continue to inspire people. And maybe in your next life you’ll be allowed to get married. Just not to that moron Jack. What a maroon!
So the winner, Best Picture, as if there was any doubt, the single best picture of the year, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Because, as well all know, it is written.
And because freida Pinto is the single most gorgeous woman in the movies today.
Jai Ho everybody! Please drive home safely.

Everything Matters -2/19/09-Oscars Edition - part 5

Everything Matters – 2/19/09 – Academy Awards Edition – Part 5

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – the nominees are Eric Roth and Robin
Swicord/The CC of BB, John Patrick Shanley/Doubt, Peter Morgan/Frost/Nixon,
David Hare/The Reader, and Simon Beaufoy/Slumdog Millionaire.
Lets’s see, The CC of BB was so long I felt that I had passed Einstein’s time-space
loop and was aging both forwards and backwards and this will not sit well with Oscar judges.
Doubt is one of those phony “important” pictures that really isn’t the more you
examine it. Oooh, Meryl Streep. Oooh, Philip Seymour Hoffman. They’re both
so well respected. This picture must matter. But it doesn’t. And the picture has the shameless Hollywood (maybe Broadway too) ending where Meryl Streep is
racked with guilt under the tree, almost shrieking, “I have doubts.” So bald, so
lame. But the costumes. Nuns in the Bronx in the early 60s? Again, straight
from Pee-Wee’s closet. Not a winner.
Frost/Nixon, phony history masquerading as important. Doubt for the secular
set. Nope.
The Reader; why do folks think this is a good movie? Her character has no shading.
She never changes and the kid and Ralph (where the fuck does RAFE come from?)
Are the saddest people in the world because an older woman you once fucked stopped fucking you??? After a month or so when you were 15???!!! The only person still fucking the same person they were fucking at 15 is Bristol Palin! Nope.
And the Oscar goes to, Slumdog Millionaire. Not a single mis-step or mis-scene
(or even mise-en-scene), a great epic romance writ large against all of India.
And yes, I actually did write that sentence.

FOREIGN FILM – and the nominees are The Baader Meinhof Complex/Germany,
The Class/France, Departures/Japan, Revanche/Austria, and Waltz with Bashir/Israel.
(the synopses are from
The Baader Meinhof Complex - The roots of the infamous German terrorist group, the Red Army Faction, are traced to the turbulent events of the late 1960s. When a political riot leaves a protester dead and an assassination attempt is made on a left-wing leader, student radicals Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin join forces with journalist Ulrike Meinhof to form a violent faction that turns to bombings, kidnappings, and murder to achieve its goals. I came of age during this time and I am the audience for this. And this will never come to Asheville, a city of 72,000 in formerly red North Carolina. Netflix, baby.
But no Oscar.
The Class - This portrait of a year in the life of a class of Parisian middle school students focuses on the ethnically diverse children who comprise the group and their dedicated teacher, François Marin. Unfolding almost entirely within the classroom itself, the story explores the diversity of personality and background among the students that makes Marin's work both challenging and rewarding. Oscar voters love realistic portrayals of public school, considering none of their children will ever drive by one, much less see the inside of one. Makes limousine liberals feel good about themselves. And limousine is a French word. Possible winner.
Deprtures - When cellist Daigo Kobayashi finds himself unemployed, he returns with his wife to his hometown and answers an ad he believes has been placed by a travel agency. The available position, however, turns out to be with a company that prepares corpses for cremation--an elaborate ritual for which the stunned Daigo proves to have a surprising aptitude. An unemployed cellist. Corpse preparation? How did I miss this?
Or better yet – How did this get made? Even in Japan? Well, in two years we’ll get the American remake with Sarah Michelle Gellar and it will be really good. I’m sure.
Revanche - A crime results in a web of guilt and revenge that knits together the lives of two very different couples. Ex-con Alex plans to help his girlfriend, Tamara, escape from her life in a brothel by robbing a bank in his grandfather's small town. When the plan goes awry, Alex is drawn into a complex relationship with Robert, a local policeman, and his kindhearted wife, Suzanne. This is the story of every girl from the Ukraine since the beginning of the internet. Not a chance.
And the winner is – Waltz with Bashir - Filmmaker Ari Folman's animated feature explores his own participation as part of the Israeli army in the 1982 Lebanon War. Unable to recall key parts of his actions during the war, Folman interviews other former soldiers and begins to piece together both his own past and the repercussions of a troubling period in modern history. We can learn from this film and demand that the entire Bush Administration be held accountable for the last 8 years. Friends, who I love and respect, as opposed to friends I just love, have said this is a great film. It will open in Asheville, NC in 17 years.

DIRECTOR – The nominees are David Fincher/The CC of BB,
Ron Howard/Frost/Nixon, Gus Van Sant/Milk, Stephen Daldry/The Reader,
and Danny Boyle/Slumdog Millionaire.
David Fincher directed a lot of CGI ghosts and Brad Pitt with those EKG things stuck to his body for motion-capture and we know how good that Tom Hanks Xmas train movie was a few years back? I don’t care that it’s technology.
That doesn’t make it good.
Although the Blind Clockmaker at the beginning of the film is an allegory for Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Anything that makes religious fanatics crazy I am for.
But an Oscar, Nope.
Ron Howard always casts his brother Clint. Ron was Opie and he was and may still
be cute. But Clint looks like one of the People Under the Stairs or a Boogen and history be damned, it’s all blown when Clint’s giganto-cephalic profile appears. Nope.
Gus Van Sant is the other person who can win. Milk is a great biopic and a very good movie. But he won’t.
Stephen Daldry is in the running to give them 5 nominees. Let’s be honest here.
He got to tell his good friend Sam Mendes’s wife, Kate Winselt, to parade around naked
for weeks at a time. I’ve tried that with wives of friends and nothing. Not even a quick shot using my cellphone. Call it what you will, it won’t win an Oscar.
But the Oscar will go to Danny Boyle for Slumdog. The Indian landslide continues.
Thanks to Shiva and Allah, as the lead character says. And the voters of the Academy.
Jai Ho!

SUPPORTING ACTRESS – the nominees are Amy Adams/Doubt, Penelope Cruz/Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Viola Davis/Doubt, Taraji P. Henson/The CC of BB, and
Marisa Tomei/The Wrestler.
Well, first off, the two women from Doubt cancel each other out, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. So then it’s a choice between Taraji P. Henson who may have been a Muppet in another lifetime and since she ages about 60 years in The CC of BB, may well be a Muppet. And I love that she’s Taraji P. Henson as if there was another Taraji Henson when she went to get her SAG card so she threw that P. in. She was fine but the most amazing thing about her character, and the thing that was never ever explored, WHY SHE NEVER SAID ANYTHING TO ANYONE ABOUT THIS MIRACULOUS BACKWARDS-AGIN PERSON SHE WAS RASING AS HER SON???!!! She shouldn’t win just for that.
So for me it’s a choice between Penelope Cruz, so hot, and that hair, my god, I want to live in her hair, and Marisa Tomei playing an exotic dancer in The Wrstler, who paraded around naked almost as much as Kate Winslet. Mickey Rourke may have the broad back to carry Tomei to another win but I say Penelope Cruz, if only for showing the world what real, hot Latin sexuality is all about.
The winner – Penelope Cruz.

Everything Matters - 2/19/09 - Oscars Edition - Part 4

Everything Matters – 2/19/09 – Academy Awards Edition – Part 4

CINEMATOGRAPHY – the nominees are Changeling, The CC of BB,
The Dark Knight, The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire.
Changeling is a very strange. It’s a glamour shot of a movie; Angelina going
all serious as a distraught mother in 1920 L.A. playing off her 2009 role as the
together Mom married to a man who ages backwards. But the movie doesn’t know
what it wants to be. is it about her and her missing son, replaced by an imposter?
Is it a mental institutional horror story, Roaring Twenties Girl Interrupted?, or is it a serial-murder mystery set in the deserts outside what’s going to become Los Angeles?
None of the movies it wants to be is satisfying. And the whole is weaker than the sum
of its parts. Most people on leaving just wonder why it’s not THE Changeling?
But that sounds like some weird M. Night Shamalayan movie. Hmm, might’ve been better. Until the ending. No Oscar for this. But OctoMom Nadya Suleman will be rooting for this one.
The CC of BB will also not win yet another Oscar. It looked pretty enough but
not nearly as pretty as Brad. The director said the same thing to Cate Blanchett
when she asked for better light.
The Dark Knight – somebody had to keep the camera in focus when the
Batmobile goes shooting through Gotham. Good job, focus puller, but not
The Reader – Nazi porn with an almost-always-nude Kate Winslet braving the colorlessness of postwar Germany. The whole movie is done in grey scale.
So many shades of grey. Or gray. Doesn’t matter, this wasn’t exactly
Lawrencce of Arabia. Not a chance.
And the Oscar goes to – Slumdog Millionaire. More colors than the 256 million
on Photoshop. Now that’s cinematography! Jai Ho!

ART DIRECTION – the nominees are Changeling, The CC of BB,
The Dark Knight, The Duchess, Revolutionary Road.
Changeling had to make present-day Los Angeles look like 1920s Los Angeles.
So they went to East L.A. Not a winner.
The CC of BB might win this. They had an old TV that they watched the Beatles
on Ed Sullivan. They borrowed it from Pee-Wee Herman’s old set. Maybe.
The Dark Knight could be the sleeper. As Stevie Wonder might say, “Gotham City;
just like I pictured it.” Maybe plus.
The Duchess might win if they don’t win the Oscar for Best Costume. If they don’t
win one of these, they might not make effete period pieces. Possible.
Revolutionary Road with all those 1950s touches. Again, Pee-Wee Herman’s old s
et could’ve supplied everything for this film. Give the Oscar to Paul Reubens.
I say Revolutionary Road gets the Oscar. It didn’t do any box-office, nobody saw it,
but people think it must’ve been real good.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM – the nominees are Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, and WALL-E.
Are we kidding? Kung Fu Panda is something on the menu in Beijing.
Bolt is the Wanted of animated films – What the fuck was Bolt?!
And the winner is, again, are we kidding, WALL-E.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – the nominees are Courtney Hunt/Frozen River,
Mike Leigh/Happy-Go-Lucky, Martin McDonagh/In Bruges, Dustin lance Black/Milk, and Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter/WALL-E.
Let’s face it, it’s between the heroic gay martyr, MILK, and WALL-E, the gay little machine in the future. You don’t think he’s gay? WALL-E’s favorite film is the
musical Hello Dolly, starring gay-world icon Barbra Streisand. Imagine if WALL-E
had found a VHS copy of Yentl? Now that’s a movie I want to see!
Milk will win because it will not win so many others and the Penn was brilliant but he won’t win and the guy’s dead and his life and his story matter. And it should.

Everything Matters - 2/19/09 - Academy Awards Edition - part 3

Everything Matters – 2/19/09 – Academy Awards Edition – Part 3

ORIGINAL SONG – the nominees are Down to Earth from Wall-E,
Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire, and O Saya from Slumdog Millionaire.
Down to Earth from Wall-E – I love Peter Gabriel. He’s was championing
world music before we even called it world music. And who can forget John
Cusack holding the boombox in the rain in Say Anything while In Your Eyes plays?
But for all the hype about Wall-E, the first 30-40 minutes are brilliant when it’s
just the machines and their world. Once humans are introduced, as in life, the
whole thing turns to shit, or in this case, an eco-friendly lesson episode of The Jetsons.
With fat people. And this song is not In Your Eyes. There is no light, no heat,
and no Oscar.
Jai Ho – the perfect Bollywood ending, the entire cast dancing in the train station
to the uplifting Jai Ho. This should win and if not, you are a mother-jodh which
probably means what we all think it means.
And if it doesn’t win then
O Saya – should win. MIA just had a baby and she should win simply because
she didn’t have eight babies!! At the Grammys her belly looked almost as big as
Kanye West’s ego. I’m playing this now.
The Oscar goes to O Saya.
Had there been a Love Theme from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button done by,
let’s say, Phil Collins, that’s another Oscar that The CC of BB wouldn’t win.
Either way, Jai Ho or O Saya, world music wins. Sorry, Peter. And for the record
they don’t call it world music. Wherever it’s made they just call it THEIR MUSIC.

ORIGINAL SCORE – the nominees are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button/Alexandre Desplat, Defiance/James Newton Howard, Milk/Danny Elfman, Slumdog Millionaire/A.R.Rahman, and WALL-E/Thomas Newton.
I defy anyone to hum or whistle anything from the CC of BB. Impossible. We were
too busy thinking about all those different Brad Pitts.
Defiance? Belorussian Jews killing Nazis? No, but if you hum a few bars…
Milk, score by Danny Elfman. Elfman usually works with Tim Burton.
What would Tim Burton’s Milk have looked like? First off, Johnny Depp is Milk
and he’s the single prettiest 40 year old Jew in history. And I’m counting Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson and they’re younger!!! So lets be glad it wasn’t Tim Burton’s Milk. But still, not a winner.
And the winner, Slumdog Millionaire. Accepting the Oscar are the 39 million people
of Mumbai. We may be here a while.

SOUND EDITING – the nominees are The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Slumdog Millionaire, WALL-E, and Wanted.
The Dark Knight, great look. But the sound? I heard everything. Isn’t that the fucking point?!
Iron Man. Yep, heard everything here too. Even Samuel L. Jackson screaming as Nick Fury after the credits. Okay, making his voice palatable for the human ear, I can see that thia is sound editing.
WALL-E is animated. The actors are in a recording studio. How hard is that? Nope.
Wanted. What the fuck was Wanted? Anybody? It’s not even on IMDB. Nope.
The winner – Slumdog Millionaire. The filmmakers went all over the Indian subcontinent and we heard everything in glorious SOUND.

SOUND MIXING – the nominees are The CC of BB, The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, WALL-E, and Wanted.
Once again, if the sound mixers of The CC of BB had aged backwards maybe they’d
win an Oscar but as they didn’t, no way.
The Dark Knight – a real movie movie. But we come out talking about Heath Ledger
as The Joker. I guess that means we heard everything he had to say. Thank you sound mixers but no big prize yet.
WALL-E – again, you don’t like the sound, call the actors up and have them do it again, over and over. It’s an animated feature, you have them locked in a room. You can do anything you want with them. No big deal mixing this sound. Sorry.
Wanted. Again? Somebody greased some Academy palms. Wanted? Oh, that mindless movie with Anglina Jolie where they bend bullets by flicking their wrists as they shot their guns? Even as I watched it I realized I was dying a little more as time was slipping away from me for the 2 hours I was in the theater. No fucking way!
And the winner is – Slumdog Millionaire. Y’know how hard it is to mix Hindi and Urdu and Bengali and English and cars and cows and cellphones and television studios and television sets and the sound the Taj Mahal makes at night? Clearly the best Sound Mixing.

Everything Matters - 2/19/09 - Academy Awards Edition - Part 2

Everything Matters – 2/19/09 – Academy Awards Edition – Part 2

FILM EDITING – the nominees are The Curious case of Benjamin Button,
The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Milk, and Slumdog Millionaire.
Now the CC of BB was nominated for just about every possible Oscar and it can
make history by not winning the most Oscars in history. So let’s keep that string
going here. The CC of BB, nope.
The Dark Knight, maybe the best comic book movie ever. But that whole subplot
with Harvey Dent as TwoFace? That’s where a good film editor was needed. Nope.
Frost/Nixon, god, did I hate this movie. Phony history and the jowls of Frank Langella do not, I repeat, equal gravitas and a good movie. ALSO, the history in the movie is phony, false, A LIE. NIXON NEVER APOLOGIZES FOR WATERGATE OR ANYTHING ELSE. AND THE WHOLE DRUNKEN PHONE CALL THAT THE PLOT RESTS ON – IT NEVER HAPPENED!!! The only thing I hate more than the phony history of this movie is the real history of Richard Nixon. Nope.
Milk, a wonderful movie about a great man, great writing, great acting, and great editing. But sorry. There’s another movie called –
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE that is transcendant. The Oscar goes to Slumdog.
Because yes, it is written.

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT) – the nominees are The Conscience of Nhem En, The Final Inch, Smile Pinki, The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306.
There will be no snark. There will only be honor and respect and gratitude that people dedicate their lives to bringing the subjects of documentaries such as these to light.
(synopses from
The Conscience of Nhem En - In the wake of Cambodia's takeover by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, a sixteen-year-old soldier named Nhem En was instructed to photograph the tens of thousands of citizens who passed through a processing center on the way to their execution. Impossible to read that without tearing up, close to sobbing.
The Final Inch - Contributing to the global efforts to eradicate polio worldwide, dedicated individuals in India travel throughout the country urging parents to vaccinate their children against the disease.
Smile Pinki - Pinki, a girl in rural India whose cleft lip has made her a social outcast, has a chance for a new life when she meets a dedicated social worker.
The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 3006 - The Reverend Samuel "Billy" Kyles, a witness to Martin Luther King's assassination, reflects on King's life and legacy as he recalls the events surrounding his murder.
Sadly there is only one Oscar. Luckily there may be more than one heaven. And that is where the subjects and the makers of these films will find themselves someday, among the honored and exalted.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – the nominees are The Betrayal (Nerakhoon),
Encounters at the End of the World, The Garden, Man on Wire, Trouble the Water.
(synopses from
Again, these subjects and filmmakers deserve our honor and respect. This is a no-snark zone.
The Betrayal - The life of Laotian immigrant Thavisouk Phrasavath serves as a metaphor for the far-reaching repercussions that are still felt from America's involvement in the Vietnam War. When his family suffered persecution following the U.S. withdrawal from Southeast Asia as a result of his father's work for the CIA, Phrasavath's mother fled with eight of her ten children to a life of poverty in Brooklyn.
Encounters at the End of the World - In the extreme conditions that define existence in Antarctica, filmmaker Werner Herzog explores the range of personalities who have been drawn to spend their working lives in one of the world's harshest environments. From research scientists to blue collar workers, Herzog's subjects demonstrate a self-reliance and intrepid sense of adventure that both equip them for their frigid surroundings and place them outside the mainstream of society.
The Garden - In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, a fourteen-acre expanse of city-owned land in a South Central neighborhood was developed by local residents into one of the country's largest community gardens. In 2003, the tract was sold back to its original owner, whose plans to develop it prompted area residents to organize in an attempt to stop efforts to oust them from the land.
Man on Wire - In 1974, French performance artist Philippe Petit hid with several friends after hours in the World Trade Center, strung a high wire between its Twin Towers...and walked between them for the better part of an hour, to the amazement of New Yorkers on the streets below. How Petit planned and executed his spectacle is detailed in extensive interviews with Petit and those who helped him achieve his dream.
Trouble the Water - As the drama of Hurricane Katrina unfolded, New Orleans resident Kimberly Roberts recorded the chaos and devastation of her own experience on videotape. Her footage forms the heart of this portrait of Roberts's long journey with her husband, from the early days of the storm to their subsequent evacuation, resettlement in Memphis, and eventual return to the decimated city.
I have seen Man on Wire and I have seen Trouble the Water. Again, just split it five ways and we all win.

COSTUME – the nominees are Australia, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,
The Duchess, Milk, and Revolutionary Road.
Okay, back to sniping and snark.
Australia? Dusters and Oz-inspired Calvin Klein? Jesse James in the Outbaack with the occasional loincloth? Not a chance.
The CC of BB? Brad wears Steve McQueen chinos and t-shirts and sweatshirts and even rides a motorcycle. It’s like a spread from Men’s Vogue:Brad is Steve Issue. But an Oscar for what you can buy at K-Mart? Nope.
The Duchess – was this a movie? Did anyone see it? But it has a name that means a previous century and that means Costumes. Looks like a winner.
Milk – the least fashion-conscious movie ever made about gay men. Nope.
Revolutionary Road – mid 1950s, late 1950s, we’ve all seen it on Mad Men and it looks just fine there. Maybe if the movie had any shelf life?
The winner – The Duchess. And under his breath, Gus van Sant mutters, “Bitch.”

Everything Matters - 2/19/09 - Academy Awards Edition - Part 1

Everything Matters – 2/19/09 – Academy Awards Edition

The Oscars. The little golden man. The stars, the history of the movies, Hollywood.
Hugh Jackman?????


Wolverine is hosting the Oscars?!

I want a comedian. I want snark and social commentary. I don’t want a giant
Australian actor made famous by playing a mutant with a skeleton made of
adamantium, the hardest substance known to man.

So the ratings haven’t been good lately. Who cares?
Give me Sarah Silverman. She would fucking kill.
Give me Stephen Colbert. He would fucking kill.
Give me Margaret Cho. She would fucking kill.
Give me Conan O’Brien. He would fucking kill.
But Hugh Jackman?! Did you folks not see Australia?!
Then again, it could be worse. Nicole Kidman could be the host.

Okay, there are 24 main categories and we’ll go backwards towards the top –
(and I’ll be posting in groups of four)

VISUAL EFFECTS – the 3 nominees are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,
The Dark Knight, and Iron Man. Now the CC of BB, my own far-too-cutesy shorthand for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or as most people know it,
Forrest Gump ages backwards and instead of Tom Hanks he’s now Brad Pitt,
should win. The entire film is a visual effect. All films are, I know but this is the first movie that has a credit at the end that reads – Special thanks to the 300 Koreans with
Mac laptops who did all the time intensive CGI work (for pennies on the dollar, I might add) that meant that Brad Pitt was only on set for a total of 4 days. Remember the
Hologram of Will I. Am that CNN interviewed on Election Night? That was also
Brad Pitt. There is no Will I. Am. God, if only there were no Fergie.
The Dark Knight had some rather amazing visual effects, not the least of which is convincing us that Maggie Gyllenhaal is the sexiest woman in Gotham City. Has anyone on this planet ever whipped their head around and said, “Wow. That was Sally Field?!” No. And Maggie Gyllenhaal looks like Sally Field’s niece. Great actress but only in a mythical city would she be the sexiest anything. Think of Jesssica Alba in Sin City.
There is no Sin City but thank god, there is a Jessica Alba.
And the third nominee, iron Man also had some great visual effects. The best of which was making Terrence Howard disappear from the sequel.
And the winner – THE CC OF BB. Accepting the award is the lightstream from a laser pointer, otherwise known as Brad Pitt.

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM – the nominees are Auf der Strecke (On the Line),
Manon on the Asphalt, New Boy, The Pig, and Spielzeugland (Toyland).
These plot summaries are taken straight from
Auf der Strecke - A department store security guard is secretly in love with
a clerk in the store's bookshop. Okay. I’m so not there. Well, maybe if the
security guard is Wolverine and the bookshop clerk is Maggie Gyllenhall.
Manon on the Asphalt - A woman gains a new insight of life while she's
near death. Next.
New Boy - Captures the experience of being the new kid in school through
the eyes of Joseph, a nine year-old African boy. The school’s in Ireland, and
it’s from a story by Roddy Doyle, the guy who wrote The Commitments.
The Pig - A man facing surgery finds comfort in the painting of a pig hanging
in his hospital room. I want this to win just because this is the single greatest sentence in the English language I
have ever seen.
Spielzeugland - 1942: what happens when a German kid believes that his Jewish neighbors are going to Toyland? A story about lies and guilt. And now I want this to win because the summary of Spielzeugland IS NOW THE SINGLE GREATEST SENTENCE EVER WRITTEN IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE!
Also, as harsh as German can be on the ears, wouldn’t it have been great if the famous 1934 Laurel and Hardy movie had been called Babes in Spielzeugland?!
And the winner –New Boy, from Ireland, as the countries that once made up the British Empire start their relentless march to Slumdog dominance.

ANIMATED SHORT FILM – the nominees are La Maison en Petits Cubes,
Lavatory – Lovestory, Oktapodi, Presto, and This Way Up.
La Maison en Petits Cubes - The film features an old man living alone in a town that has become submerged. His answer to the slowly rising water is to keep building on to his original home--like placing cubes on top of cubes to keep out the water. When he loses his favorite pipe, he dons scuba gear to retrieve it. As he descends and sees the earlier levels of his home (now submerged) he relives in his mind his life and loves. It's all very sweet and sentimental. And it really helps to be hitting the bong with Michael Phelps if you want to enjoy this one.
Lavatory-Lovestory - focuses on a lonely, middle-aged woman who is in charge
of a public lavatory. In Russia. Doesn’t get much better than that. Why is this not a feature? Maybe she could age backwards and it ends with Marcel Duchamp stealing a urinal and she can’t do shit cause she’s a baby. I’d see that.
And here I thought it was about Senator Larry Craig of Idaho.
Oktapodi - Two Octopi fight for their lives with a stubborn restaurant cook in
a comical escape through the streets of a small Greek village. It’s The Great
Escape with octopi instead of Steve McQueen. Sixteen legs instead of just two, it’s light eight Steve McQueens. And just how fucking cool would that be?!
Presto - A stage magician's rabbit gets into a magical onstage brawl against his neglectful guardian with two magic hats. It’s like Chuck Jones meets the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Bugs Bunny kicks Mickey Mouse’s ass. I’d pay to see that. It’s going to be tough, though. Oktapodi? 8 Steve McQueens?
This Way Up - A.T Shank & Son have a bad day at the parlour when a falling boulder flattens their hearse. This sounds so much like a Wallace & Gromit idea. Which is a good thing. But c’mon, 8 Steve McQueens? Octopi???
And the winner is – Oktapodi. Yes, calamari for everyone!

MAKEUP – the nominees are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,
The Dark Knight, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
This category brings up an interesting question – just what is makeup?
In The CC of BB I’m looking at little computer generated Brad Pitts, like he
was kidnapped and the FBI crime lab and the CSI guys are giving us computer projections of what Brad Pitt might look like at various ages… but that ain’t
makeup! And Hellboy II? Those are costumes and special effects. Something tells me Hellboy doesn’t wear makeup. Kinda blows the whole Hellboy thing
if Hellboy wore eyeliner and night cream. But The Dark Knight… the late, lamented Heath Ledger as the Joker. That’s makeup! If kids and kid’s moms
can recreate that look for Halloween, that’s makeup. And if it makes you think
of a great young actor gone too soon, that’s Oscar winning makeup!
The winner – The Dark Knight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


25 Things About Me That Facebook Now Owns

(Or Would Own if they didn’t go back to their old policy of not owning them)
(some tangible, some just memories…)

1. any and all social security benefits (I’m at the tail-end of the generation that
still might get them)
2. all those pictures in those big plastic tubs of dead relatives I don’t know the names of
3. my love and pride when I just think of my daughter chloe or my son danny
4. 3 giant sized containers of montreal steak seasoning (at Costco I always assume
I need this)
5. 2 tickets to see Bruce in Atlanta on April 26th (at least can I go with Facebook?)
6. all those wonderful memories of a young me and the young her I met at the NYU bookstore all those years ago
7. any recollection of game 7 of the knicks championship victory over the lakers; the famous “willis is going to play” game. I WAS THERE!
8. the taste of my mother’s “sliced meat” – I didn’t know it was just “pot roast” until I was about 35
9. my all-time favorite song, The Way You Look Tonight, sung by Sinatra
10. my 3 favorite movies of all-time, genres be damned – The Philadelphia Story,
The Magnificent Seven, and Trainspotting
11. and the Big Lebowski
12. the memory of the first time I saw daphne – she was being kissed by jack marion
13. the time I got Alfred kicked out of yankee stadium cause I was throwing stuff from the upper deck down at frank robinson of the orioles after he clearly DID NOT CATCH roy white’s game-winning homer
14. the small nostril-sized vicks nasal inhaler that my brother Harvey used to stick in my nose and hold it in what we called, pre-cheney, “the torture”
15. every issue of the believer magazine and the first 7 of the national lampoon when it was fucking funny
16. my father’s ashes and his recipe for “roskas”
17. 4 containers of Tropicana orange-tangerine juice
18. my mother telling me we won’t drink minute maid because Bing Crosby is a major shareholder and he does their commercials and he beats his kids and he’s an anti-semite
19. at 19, 2 weeks in the tuolomne meadows in a tent in Yosemite with a gorgeous girl from rolling hills estates, California
20. the great pleasure I took in closing the door of E-124 and talking with the kids about anything and everything
21. the one fork from my mother with the bent tine that I use to beat the eggs
22. my bacon-of-the-month club certificate and how shana doubled my cholestrol
23. I have seen every super bowl and now so has facebook
24. Walton ford, alex gross, mark ryden and r. crumb on my walls
25. late-night dinners and conversation at terroni on beverly

Everything Matters -2/18/09 - After Lunch Edition

Everything Matters – 2/18/09 – After Lunch Edition

So let’s see – the New York Post, a right-wing tabloid run by human shar-pei Rupert Murdoch, ran an editorial cartoon today -
which showed a chimpanzee laying in his own blood, dead on the ground, two bullet holes in him. One cop says to the other (the one with the smoking gun who did the shooting) –
“They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

In how many ways is this supposed editorial cartoon horrifically racist and wrong (and thus, in how many ways is it perfectly acceptable to the base base of the Republican party – the evangelical fringe ex-Confederate states with some mountain state anti-tax craziness thrown in for good measure):

1) The Post is not just calling President Barack Obama,
a biracial man with an African father, a chimpanzee,
they are fucking drawing it!
2) The Post is advocating, clearly, the murder of the President of the United States.
3) Yes, the Post will hide behind their denial by saying that the cartoon simply shows the dead chimp representing the Democratically led Congress and Senate since they are the ones who wrote the stimulus bill. While this can not be believed by any thinking person (and thus, no Republican) this means the Post is advocating the murder of Democrats in the House and Senate.
4) The two white cops are drawn as weird big-nosed morons. Right-wingers love to say they are all for law and order. This portrayal of two of “the finest” shows their utter contempt for the folks who actually do the job.
5) And just to remind you, the Post is advocating, clearly, the murder of Barack Obama, the President of the United States.

Added to the ludicrousness of the cartoon is the front page itself. At such a critical, pivotal time in our nation’s history, the Post has three main stories on its front page – 2 mil in NYC money to pay off a drunk who fell in the subway; the major newsworthy revelation as to why the chimp in Connecticut went berserk; and of course, the major human interest story
of the day – sexy Jen Aniston’s b-day kiss. Quite a feat of world-class journalism.

The only way this front page could possibly be any better would be if: A drunken Jen Aniston, after a hard night of birthday partying, decided to show her street cred by using public transportation and was impregnated by the berserk chimp on the #4 Woodlawn-Jerome line and the City of New York had to pony up millions after she gave birth to eight hair-tossing babies, but still realizing her lifelong dream of motherhood and forever being known as Jennifer Aniston, Octo-Chimpo-Mom.

And Rupert’s got enough money; don’t think he can’t make that happen.

Roland Burris, the man appointed to the U.S. Senate by disgraced poetry-spouting lunatic, ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, should be forced to resign soon.
This from the Chicago tribune Editorial Board - Let’s see if we have it right: Burris had zero contact with any of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s cronies about his interest in the Senate seat being vacated by President Barack Obama— unless you count that conversation with former chief of staff Lon Monk, and, on further reflection, the ones with insiders John Harris, Doug Scofield and John Wyma and, oh yeah, the governor’s brother and fund-raising chief, Robert Blagojevich. But Burris didn’t raise a single dollar for the now ex-governor as a result of those contacts because that could be construed as a quid pro quo and besides, everyone he asked refused to donate.
On his way out of office, Blagojevich quoted Kipling and compared himself to Mother Theresa and Gandhi.
Burris can make it easy on all of us if he just says, “You’re right, I’m outta here. At least I didn’t do steroids.”

Thanks A-Rod. Who knew that major league baseball and the lure of multi-million dollar salaries was the gateway drug to steroids?
And that also means there’s no way I’m allowing any kid of mine to enter the world of competitive swimming. Who knew that competitive swimming, at
an extremely high level, was the gateway to marijuana use?
Phelps, who at 23 is young and naïve (has he ever taken a picture without his mouth open and a goofy, doofus look on his face) didn’t use the excuse of being young and naïve nearly as much as A-Rod WHO WAS 25-26-AND 27 WHEN HE COPPED TO INJECTING STEROIDS INTO HIS OWN ASS!!! Oh, excuse me, COPPED TO HAVING HIS DOMINICAN COUSIN INJECT STEROIDS INTO HIS ASS!!!

Fuck the War on Drugs? All that government money should be going to the
War on the Little League?
And what about the 103 other positive drug tests that have yet to be revealed from 2003 in major league baseball? Drug use is so rampant in baseball, imagine the guys from Trainspotting being able to hit the curveball.

President Obama is in Phoenix today offering his fix to the housing and foreclosure crisis which he says will keep over 9 million people from losing
their homes. Phoenix is in the Valley of the Sun, which got its name from
the fact that with over 40,000 foreclosed homes in the last year, the city now has as many people living outdoors as indoors. Senator John McCain, cranky election loser, doesn’t have to worry. He has 11 homes, or make that 12 now that good Republican wife Cindy just had another one built out of Xanax and Botox.

The Press loves a feel-good story. Mickey Rourke’s dog dies and the headlines read: Mickey Rourke’s beloved Loki dies. And we feel sorry for him and Loki, as we should. But you know that before his comeback triumph in The Wrestler the headline would’ve read: Jobless Bum Mickey Rourke kills his own dog and eats it.

Sarah Palin’s finally going to pay the back taxes she owes the state of Alaska for the per-diem money she billed them for travel and expenses when she simply stayed home. Too bad. By paying her taxes she can never be a member of Obama’s cabinet.

Let me be the first to say it and it makes Octo-Mom Nadya Suleman’s bat-shit crazy story even bat-shit crazier – I’M SAYING HER SPERM DONOR,
Please, somebody do a DNA test of the grandfather and the babies.

Nadya wants to be a TV expert on child-rearing. I can see her first piece – “The first two things all you young mothers out there are going to need – a ridiculously high litter of children AND A REALLY BIG SHOE TO LIVE IN.”

The Octo-Mom grandparents are not sticking around. The grandpa is going back to
work in Iraq; he’d rather face roadside bombs than 14 kids in a 3 bedroom house.
And the grandma is going to visit relatives in Europe. Yes, America, that shining beacon of democracy and opportunity and frozen embryos is not where they want to be right now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Everything Matters - 2/13/09 - Hat Tip to The Believer Edition

I read The Believer magazine. It is wonderful and more people should read it. Or at least look through it at a friend's place.
This article is in the new issue, the Feb. 2009 issue and it made me laugh out loud.
It's called The Fifty Greatest Things that Just Popped Into My Head by Jack Pendarvis. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Everything Matters - 2/8/09 - Grammy Awards Edition

Everything Matters – Grammys Edition

Okay, some basic truths:

Craig Ferguson had maybe the best awards show intro patter ever when he
introduced Katy Perry as “the bi-curious Katy Perry”.

Al Green has earned the right to never sing on stage with Justin Timberlake.
And about Timberlake’s intro of the Rev. Green, does anyone, anywhere believe
that in Memphis, Al Green lived “down the road” from Justin Timberlake.

On the same theme, Stevie Wonder has earned the right to never have to sing on
stage with the Jonas Brothers.

I give the lead singer Jonas Bro 2 years before he splits and goes solo.
And why do I think women have nothing to worry about when he takes his stupid
promise ring off?

Kid Rock surprised the shit out of me – this boy has pipes. And soul.

Kate Beckinsale is absolutely gorgeous. Please do a movie that isn’t vampires
and werewolves. And film it at my house.

The female half of Sugarland kicks major ass.

Paul McCartney and Robert Plant, both living history, almost one hundred years
of rock and roll between them and clearly part otter. How do they still manage to
have every hair on their heads that they had at 17?

And thank god neither of them wore that same doofus hipster hat shared by Jack Black,
Jason Mraz, Justin Timberlake, and many others.

The single coolest hat of the night was the giant black almost flat killer Western preacher
deal worn by Kid Rock’s guitarist. But only the second coolest guitarist of the night.
that was Carrie Underwood’s lady guitarist with the 50’s country music blonde cascading

I love that Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge fan. She was visibly thrilled to be introducing

And any second of Radiohead is better than the entire careers, past, present and future
of the Rap Pack (as Latifah called them), Jay-Z, TI, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne.

M.I.A. seemed to be almost exactly the same size, vertically, as Kanye, Jay-Z, TI,
and Lil Wayne. In contract talks, Kanye West had demanded that his bulge be bigger
than hers. When it was pointed out that she was 9 months pregnant, Kanye simply said,
“Ain’t mine.”

Who knew? Samuel L. Jackson is friends with Justin Timberlake.
And Morgan Freeman is friends with Kenny Chesney.

Just for the record, the major Motown legend should always be introduced as
“Ladies and gentlemen, Mister Bill “Smokey” Robinson” and never just
Smokey Robinson.

Ne-Yo somehow made the doofus hipster hat cool. And I am definitely going to
download some Ne-Yo from Itunes.

Surprises: Katy Perry – prettier than I thought. The USC Marching Band has not lost
anything since Tusk. And Jack Black is 3 feet tall.

Neil Diamond looks like a weird cross between today’s Martin Landau and Montgomery Clift.

Must there be commercials for Friday the 13th during this show. Or ever.

Lamest Grammy participant intro – “…the star of something something Witch Mountain,
Duane Johnson.” He was slightly less lame than Gary Sinise or the Mentalist guy.
Thank you CBS for all the lame CBS show people.

Best rap superstar shout-out that will never be repeated – Lil Wayne saying, “Robin Thicke, yo.”

And the single most surreal moment – Lil Wayne and Robin Thicke duetting on
“Feets don’t fail me now.”

There are only 5 members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. What’s up with that?

Separated at birth – Jack Black and T-Pain.

Tom Petty, call T-Pain, he’s got your hat.

Zoey Deschanel is Katy Perry.

T-Bone Burnett looks like someone who knew Andrew Jackson. Or Henry Clay.
Or John C. Calhoun.

Most demonic drummer ever with neon green socks – the drummer backing up Robert Plant
and Alison Kraus.

Not bad.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


President Obama has written an Op-Ed piece in today’s Washington Post where he states his case for the stimulus package. He went on TV today, speaking at the Department of Energy, where he again stated his case for the importance of the stimulus package. What he’s NOT DOING is saying, clearly and simply, just who are these enemies of the stimulus, these folks who would rather see the country fail and fall further into a massive depression. HE IS NOT SAYING THAT THEY ARE REPUBLICANS. He is using the euphemisms of politics as usual, or
lack of bipartisanship, or far too much partisanship. Millions of us didn’t vote for you, didn’t vote for change, to hear platitudes and euphemisms. This is clearly war, a war declared by the Republicans in the Senate and the House led by their Viagra-crazed fatboy, Rush Limbaugh, on the middle and lower classes and the working class and the working poor and the poor and the underemployed. And if you’re going to fight a war one of the first things you must know before going into battle is this – KNOW YOUR ENEMY. Well, folks, we know the enemy – the REPUBLICAN PARTY. Now we need our President to say it. We need the Senate and House leaders to say it. Over and over again, on television and radio and in newspapers and magazines and on the internet. Everywhere. To borrow a paraphrase from Walt Kelly’s Pogo, We have met the enemy and he is not us. HE IS A REPUBLICAN.

Ashley Judd is my new hero. She did a spot for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund where she goes after Sarah Palin for continuing her evil practice up in Alaska of the aerial killing of wolves. Coldblooded humans shoot wolves from low-flying planes in winter – when the wolves have no cover and no place to hide. Palin, the ghoulish gov, has also asked for a hundred and fifty dollar bounty to be paid for every severed foreleg of a murdered wolf. It’s not enough to shoot them from above; now they’ve got to be butchered in death. Palin’s defense was the typical response of the life-hater – we don’t live in Alaska so we don’t know how wolves decimate healthy populations of moose and caribou. Well, if you go to any page on wolves in a reference book or on Wikipedia you’ll find this out – wolves don’t decimate populations of anything. They’re part of the natural order of things and they only eat what they need. Furthermore, they typically feed on the weak and the aged. The symbiotic relationship that wolves have with their prey is long documented – by science, something that Palin, who doesn’t believe in evolution, would not and could not believe. Wolves, as predators, are actually helping to create a better population of moose and caribou by culling the herd of those that should no longer be in the gene pool. Hmmm? Now where is that gene pool that could really use to be drained? Ashley Judd, my hero.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Everything Matters - 2/2/09 - Andrea Mitchell Edition

Everything Matters – 2/2/09 – Late Afternoon Edition

Let’s talk about Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC. To regular watchers of MSNBC it is clear
that Mrs. Greenspan (she’s married to Alan Greenspan, the economist and former head of
the Fed who still has not seen the complete meltdown of global finance. Or his part in same.)
is, if not hitting the Phelpsian bong, on some sort of high-priced Dr. Nick prescribed
medication when she is on camera. She cannot ask a simple question because she is unable
to utter or complete a simple sentence. Her breathy, aspirating, stop and start, circuitously tortuous interviews make Christopher Walken line readings seem utterly normal as human speech. Add to that a wide-eyed, Keane painting total lack of affect on her face, Ms. Mitchell comes across as the News Reader from Deliverance, a porch-sitting inbred who looks like the traumatized aunt of the teenaged traumatized victim in a ludicrous American remake of a somewhat less ludicrous Japanese horror film. She is unable to speak in a clear, coherent
manner which makes her painful to listen to and to watch. MSNBC should have a 24 second clock on screen, right near the omnipresent logo, and if she is unable to get her question out in that time, a loud horn blares, she loses possession and the person being interviewed, invariably some Confederate, I mean southern Republican lunatic like Richard Shelby or Mitch McConnell gets to speak to whatever they were going to speak to anyway. Since her questions are unable
to be deciphered as such, her guests don’t answer them. They can’t. There’s no agreement with subject and verb, subject and predicate or subject and interviewer. Please, MSNBC, an intervention is in order, if only to salvage what is left of the real Andrea Mitchell. And the
sooner she’s off the air, the sooner my fantasy MSNBC hot chcocolate with vanilla cream three-way of me with Tamron Hall and Contessa Brewer can replace Andrea’s spacey face in my subconscious. Back to you, Contessa. Oh yeah.

Today, Punxsutawney Phil came out, saw his shadow, realized that winter would last 6 weeks longer, so he asked the Federal Government for 400 billion dollars to pay the added cost of
home heating oil. The Democrats agreed but Senate Republicans, led by Richard Shelby of Alabama and David Vitter of Louisiana sad no to the bailout. And ate him.

If Michael Phelps can win 8 gold medals in one Olympics while smoking some righteous herb, isn’t it about time we legalize this shit? Phelps, who should also be getting the gold for beating the strict Olympic drug-testing procedures, said that his urine samples always came straight from the pool… where they were mixed with the urine samples of every other swimmer.
In a part of the drug-testing regimen that may have to be revised, Olympic swimmers are allowed to pee in the pool after it was discovered that all swimmers, Olympic or otherwise, pee in the pool.

A volcano erupted about 90 miles northwest of Tokyo, coating parts of the city in a fine white ash. Scarlett Johanson, misunderstanding, said she would love to be back in Tokyo showing off her fine, white ass.

Relatives of disgraced Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff are considering changing their last name so as not to be connected to the man who lost 50 billion dollars belonging to others. Some of the less infamous last names being considered are Hitler, Stalin and Schickelgruber.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Everything Matters - 1/30/09 - After Lunch Edition

Everything Matters – 1/30/09 – After Lunch Edition

The Republicans in Congress are crowing about the fact that while the Democratic stimulus passed the House, it did so without getting one Republican vote. And the upcoming vote in the Senate may not be any better. I think the problem is in the word stimulus itself. The Republicans are a party of old, white men. Words like stimulus, stimulate, stimulation don’t mean much to them any more. If they ever did. And the Democrats only compound this problem by calling their plan a “stimulus package”. I mean, c’mon, who is fucking Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky? Really, do you think Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah has ever gone down on a woman? Can Mormons even do that? And what about shiny-faced boy-Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham? You think he gets excited about baseball’s Spring Training and the words, pitchers and catchers report? Just what team does old Lindsey play for? So don’t call the Economic Stimulus Package program that any more. The Democrats would be smart to call it the Democratic Plan to Help, Aid and Save Widows, Orphans, Wounded Veterans, Puppies and Kittens. Let’s see any Republicans vote against that!

So the woman in California who gave birth to octuplets already had 6 kids. 6 would make sense if this were 200 years ago and we all lived on farms and we needed help with chores and farm work and some of those 6 might not make it. But it’s not 200 years ago, it’s 2009 and most of us don’t live on farms and we don’t need help with the chores and the harsh necessities of farm life and we have a thing called fertility drugs and for some reason this lady with 6 kids already was on them!!! I’d think if you have 6 kids and you want a whole bunch more that you probably are already on drugs, and the fertility kind wouldn’t jump out at me as to what you were taking.
So some genius doctor somewhere clearly doesn’t do his homework, like maybe ask, or even check, so, how many kids do you have right now, before we give you the pills? But now, she gets the pills and 8 babies take and she gives birth to octuplets. Now I don’t know about you but octuplets sounds like something from a horror movie. Or the American remake of a Japanese or Korean horror movie. Octuplets. Baby makes sense. One. Baby. Twins makes sense. Two. Happens with some regularity. But once you start getting into the “lets” at the end of the word – trip-lets, quadrup-lets, quintup- lets, it becomes more like “LET’S NOT DO THIS,

And the Republicans are having a field day with these octuplets in California. Seems the mother lives at home with her parents and her 6 other kids and the grandfather announced he’s going back to Iraq to get money for his giant new family. Look, we brought democracy to Iraq and she was free to come here and have 14 children, and that’s democracy in action and she has no job and no way of supporting those kids and maybe we should just shut up right now about democracy in action and freedom in Iraq. Never mind.

Boy do we need healthcare in the United States when the grandfather of the woman in California who just gave birth to octuplets, that’s 8 babies, has to GO BACK TO IRAQ FOR MONEY TO HELP SUPPORT HIS DAUGHTER’S FAMILY!!!

And seriously, how many of you when you first heard about the octuplets in California thought Bristol and Levi must be at it again!

Samantha Power just got a big job as a White House advisor on national security. The woman who shot to fame during the Democratic primary for calling Hillary Clinton a “monster” now gets to call the right people monsters – Donald Rumsfeld, the Republicans who think Guantanamo should be open forever, the Republicans who think torture is a good idea, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannitty and Jack Bauer.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is worried that his party is becoming a “regional party”.
It already is. The red states once had a regional name. They were called the Confederate States of America.

Clearly, times have changed. If Lincoln were alive today he’d be a liberal Democrat.
He was the last Republican who believed in preserving the Union. Any Union.
The United States. The United Auto Workers. Any Union.

More than a week after the Inauguration and more and more stories are coming out about
how lax security was around the Obamas. I’m betting the Secret Service is looking at Barack and Michelle and thinking, “They look like they can handle themselves. I mean, they’re from Chicago. And uh, they are Black.”

The greatest take in renewable energy is a carnivorous lamp that cactches flies, feeds on them
and uses the energy generated through that to power LEDs. Already the Holocaust deniers are claiming that Auschwitz was simply ahead of its time – using Jews and gypsies to make the engines of the Third Reich run. Yes, the Holocaust denies have a new slogan – The Nazi Party: It wasn’t easy being Green.