Friday, June 06, 2008

They are the Nazgul, Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead.

A few Friday afternoon tidbits.

Cat's and dogs living together and the first documented case of the Bush administration acting responsibly when it came to national defense. It only took until there were only a few months left in his presidency for it to happen.

George Takei is taking advantage of the recent decisions in California on gay marriage to marry his long-term SO. Everybody in the Star Trek cast but William Shatner is invited.

I like Spike Lee but in this dust-up with Clint Eastwood he's being an asshole. 1) "Flags of Our Fathers" is biographical story based on the guys who were credited with putting the flag up at Iwo Jima, one of which happened to be a Native American I might add and 2) Eastwood is the guy that made "Bird."

I guess it isn't really news that Joe Lieberman is a horse's ass. But just in case you were having trouble identifying what part of the horse Lieberman actually represents, that article is for you.

This guys nails it. Labradoodles are tougher than Sauron's Nazgul. Hobbits chase them away with torches for God's sakes.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I don't like theatrics.

Happy Friday!

In contrast to Swinebread's My Top 10 Comic Book Movies post I give you My Bottom 10 Comic Book Movies.

10. Catwoman - Even the beautiful Halle Berry directly off an Oscar win couldn't save this by-the-numbers film.

9. Daredevil - I like Ben Afleck but he didn't have much to do here.

8. The Punisher (1989) - Dolph Lundgren's career couldn't end fast enough for me.

7. Barb Wire - Pamela Anderson can't act. For most guys her natural assets are more than enough to offset this lack of talent. Not for an hour and a half they're not.

6. Superman III - I love Christopher Reeve as Superman and I think Richard Pryor was a comedic genius but whichever executive got the bright idea that mixing these two together would be cinematic gold should've had their family jewels separated from their body and rocketed into the Forbidden Zone.

5. Batman and Robin - I know some fans see the Tim Burton films which preceded this monstrosity as heretical to Batman, but at least those films had Burton's surreal production designs and quirky, off-kilter vision. This film was just a mess.

4. The Hulk - Those like myself that were excited to see what Ang Lee would do with a comic franchise were disapointed that he decided to make every effort to try and put his audience to sleep with long scenes of exposition and little "Hulk smash."

3. Nick Fury: Agent of Shield - Okay, I'm cheating a bit by putting this on the list since it was a made for t.v. movie but it starred David "I'm drunk eating a hamburger" Hasselhoff for God's sakes.

2. The League of Extraordinary Gentleman - I want so much to like this movie, mostly because of Sean Connery. It's just impossible. Great special effects but no heart about sums it up.

1. Howard the Duck - The first sign of George Lucas' descent into dementia. So bad it's STILL not available on DVD and nye impossible on cassette. Lucas has a habit of trying to hide his mistakes.

UPDATE - Randal reminds me that Howard the Duck did have something going for it in the form of Lea Thompson. The scene below is the sole reason why a young Dean Wormer saw this movie more than once.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Well, he doesn't eat much, but he's a regular jackass, and hee-haw, hee-haw, he hawlways likes to be called Arthur.

In his prebuttal to Obama's speech last night Senator John McCain said he was an "agent of change."

"As the Senator from Illinois I am honored to be the first black nominee of a major party for the office of the presidency," McCain said. "Michelle and I are blessed."

McCain's remarks were cut short when aides pushed him into a straight jacket, then quickly ushered him off the stage using cattle prods.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

They're asking if we want to beam up.

Warning somewhat nerdy, Star Trek themed post to follow--

As a fan of the old show I would be remiss if I didn't point out we lost a bunch of people dedicated to that great series just in the last week.

Joseph Pevney directed many of the best episodes of the original series including what is considered the best episode by most fans: "The City on the Edge of Forever." He also directed my personal favorite episode: "The Trouble with Tribbles."

In an odd coincidence I used to know his son, and regularly peppered him for any memories he had of his dad's work on the series. He had a funny story about William Shatner coming over to his house in a convertible corvette with his two dobermans. Shatners dobermans would just sit perfectly still in the backseat of that car while he met with Pevney.

Robert Justman was a producer on both Star Trek and Star Trek the Next Generation. His son said of all the Trek related deaths last week "There seems to be a big 'Star Trek' convention and everyone is going," he said. "Everyone is getting beamed up."

Finally I would say the biggest/ saddest loss is the death of composer Alexander Courage. Courage wrote the iconic theme song to the original series. He is also the victim of one of the cheapest acts of Gene Rodenberry's tenure on the show as Rodenberry effectively stole half the royalties for the song by writing lyrics.

Goodbye to all. It sounds like they lived long, and prospered.

There is no true glory in war.

The anniversary of D-Day will be this Friday. In casual reading about Eisenhower's planning for the invasion I came across across the letter below which he'd written in case the mission failed.

What left me with my mouth hanging open is his willingness to accept unequivocal blame. Can yo imagine that in a leader today?

(As a side note: he mis-dated the letter with "July 5" instead of June. No doubt he wasn't getting much sleep at that point.)

Our landings in the Cherbourg have at this hour failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops.

My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available.

The troops, the air and the navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do.

If any blame or fault attached to the attempt it is mine alone.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

This country cannot house its houseless - feed its foodless.

I'm a Democrat.

That was a difficult thing to type.

The Democratic party has at more times than I can count over my almost lifetime membership in it infuriated me in the positions it's leadership has taken. There have been many, many times over the past several years that I've considered leaving the party.

So why would I remain a registered Democrat? Why not join the Socialist, or Green parties?

Distilled down to it's base there are two separate reasons I remain in the Democratic party.

The first is that the platform of the Democratic party is generally progressive in nature and I'm a progressive.

The second, perhaps more important reason is it's the largest and most organized alternative to the other major political party - the Republicans. A Republican party which at it's core has spent the last thirty years working to destroy everything that is good and decent about the country I love.

So I'm left to supporting an imperfect party that at it's best is able to win us things like Social Security but at it's worst it can barely stand up to save Social Security when it was under assault by Republicans who believe the governing rule of society should be survival of the fittest.

As long as I call myself a Democrat I recognize that doing so entails responsibilities to my fellow party members. Those responsibilities usually take the form of compromising on my personal preference for who will represent us in contests with Republicans.

At the start of this seemingly endless presidential primary I supported Kucinich. He was the most progressive of the bunch and his politics are closest to my own. He lost his bid for the nomination fairly early into the campaign.

My fallback candidate was Edwards. His commitment to social justice was Kennedyesque. He voted for the war while he was in the senate but had soundly renounced that vote. His candidacy crashed and burned shortly after Kucinich's.

At this point I was pretty pissed off. It seemed to me that the truly progressive voices were dropping out while we were left with what I considered establishment candidates in Clinton and Obama. Yes, these two candidates represented historical firsts but their was nothing about their candidacies that threatened official Washington.

I also had some sour grapes about how about how my candidates were treated by the media...
But after I calmed down and thought about it I realized that part of belonging to a political party is that not everybody in the party thinks exactly like I do. Everybody else has a say. I may disagree but as long as the goals of the party are something I can agree with, how we get there isn't as important.
Besides it didn't matter if I thought my preferred candidates would do better against the Republican nominee in the fall. My candidates lost.

So I compromised again. Ultimately putting a Democrat into the Whitehouse where the Joint Chiefs will have to answer to that person and who will make the next few Supreme Court nominations is the thing that's most important to me.

Tomorrow the primaries end and the supporters of one of the candidates are going to be asked to compromise and put aside thier considerable personal stake in their candidate for the sake of the party. Just like millions of their fellow Democrats have had to do during the course of this last year as their preferred candidates were defeated.

The choice is theirs and theirs alone.

Are they Democrats?