Thursday, July 10, 2008

Will she deserve my special attentions?

Twenty-four years ago don snabulus and I pulled on our Vans, slipped into our bell bottoms, ran the giant comb we kept in our back pocket through our feathered hair and waited in the pouring rain outside the Memorial Coliseum to see The Police in the Ghost in the Machine tour.

Tomorrow night we're putting on our garter socks, squeezing into our Bermuda shorts, running a #2 razor through what's left of our thinning hair and heading on down to stand in the sun and see The Police on their reunion tour.

Hopefully I won't drive Don completely nuts with repeated jokes about him "standing too close to me."

Anyone? Bueller?

Help me out here. In 2006 the Democratic party swept into control of congress. Since that time I can't think of a major victory the Democratic leadership has won. On issue after issue from ending or even limiting the war in Iraq to federal bench appointments to this final issue of FISA "reform" the Democratic-led congress folded to Republican demands like a cheap suit.

Sure, there was an increase in the minimum wage and a devil's deal on aid to veterans but can anybody name a signifigant victory for Democrats since they took power?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

This town ain't big enough! Not for me and that frilled-up, flirtin', man-rustlin' petticoat, it ain't!

You think you have principles?

This guy has principles.

RALEIGH - L.F. Eason III gave up the only job he'd ever had rather than lower a flag to honor former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

You started it. Show me everything. I can handle myself.

Just an observation on something that's been bothering me on my own blog for some time now- not enough quotes from female characters in movies as post titles.

First a quick note on the quotes themselves. I really don't have any methodology to how I pick quotes to go along with whatever I'm blathering about that day. Sometimes I'll read about something in the news and a quote immediately springs to mind. On rare occasions I'll build the post around a quote from a movie I've recently watched.

As you probably suspected I grab the majority of my quotes off of the IMDB. Again, there's little methodology. If I've written something about FISA for instance then I might immediately go look for a quote from "The Manchurian Candidate." If I can't find a good quote from that film then I may follow the link to Frank Sinatra's book of work and pick another movie he's been in to find a quote. It's a bit of a zen thing.

I have some rules for myself that I try to follow when I pick a quote and picture to head my post. It has to be a movie or television I've actually seen. The quote has to have subtext. Finally the picture has to be on or near to the point when the line used in the quote was actually spoken. (That last one is the toughest to hit and I often have to "cheat" with the picture.)

Recently I realized that the vast majority of the quotes I've used these past years were from male characters. Part of this isn't that surprising in that, as liberal and non-sexist as I try to be, I'm still a guy. I like action movies. It follows that the characters I identify with on a conscious/ subconscious would be strong male leads.

With this in mind I recently set out to deliberately find and use more quotes from women characters. I decided to use a Sophia Loren quote last week. I had a devil of a time finding a good quote from a movie with Loren to use. It didn't help that 2/3rds of the movies on her resume were Italian.

But the exercise tickled my curiosity so I spent a couple of hours thinking up the names of famous actresses, checking their filmology and then the memorable quotes from their individual films. What I found from that little admittedly non-scientific exercise is that, with the exception of women like Elizabeth Taylor or Katherine Hepburn, actresses don't have as many great lines as actors in movies. Here's some of the stuff that I think contributes to that conclusion--

  • Nerds -- Quotes on the IMDB are compiled by fans of the individual movies and not some group of movie scholars who dig through the movies looking for great lines. Point is this could be a group of guys who live in their parent's basement.

  • Who has the conch? --Most writers, especially in the golden age of Hollywood, were men. As such they wrote FOR men.

  • By men, for men -- There aren't that many strong characters who are women written for movies. Strong characters, regardless of gender, get the best lines.

  • And your little dog too -- Along those same lines characters that are strong that happen to be women are usually villains.

  • It blowed up real good -- Hollywood makes action movies and most action heroes, with the exception of films like Thelma and Louise and Aliens, traditionally are men.

While I readily admit my little study was nowhere near empirical, I don't doubt for a second that any actress who has spent any amount of time around Hollywood would back up what I found.

As for myself-- I'm going to continue to try and utilize more quotes from women here. I can't promise that it will ever be perfectly distributed just because of my Schwarzenegger fixation.

At least I'm admitting I have a problem. That's a start.


Off topic but in the course of doing the above mentioned research I did come across this long, beautiful anti-war quote from Elizabeth Taylor Katherine Hepburn as Eleanor in The Lion in Winter. It's too long to use in it's entirety as a post title and too great to break up.

Prince John: A knife! He's got a knife!

Eleanor: Of course he has a knife, he always has a knife, we all have knives! It's 1183 and we're barbarians! How clear we make it. Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war: not history's forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government, nor any other thing. We are the killers. We breed wars. We carry it like syphilis inside. Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living ones are rotten. For the love of God, can't we love one another just a little - that's how peace begins. We have so much to love each other for. We have such possibilities, my children. We could change the world.

OK, you can owe me.

Headlines that work better without the colon, this time from CNN- McCain: Spending is out of Control.

Monday, July 07, 2008

That's right, karate... made my whole body a weapon.

At the bookstore a minute ago I saw that Harry Reid has a new book out entitled "The Good Fight."

I'm curious as to when that fight is going to start.

Because if Reid's actually summarizing his view of the last few years of his tenure as Majority Leader I think a more apt title might be "Please Don't Hurt Me."

I'll need a good rope, a hunting knife, and a soft piece of leather.

Ick. Monday.

I hope everybody had a wonderful 4th of July. We took our annual drive up the Columbia Gorge to Cascade Locks to picnic and watch the fireworks. We shot off a few of our own. No serious burns. Stop, drop and roll and all that.

Liberality reminds us that the Declaration of Independence isn't the only thing we should be thinking about for the holiday. I love the Constitution but have a major crush on the Declaration. Who wouldn't love a document that at it's core is nothing more than a kick in the nuts to the establishment?

The establishment could use a good kick in the nuts once in a while. The tree of liberty has to be refreshed from time to time with a steel-tipped boot to the gotchas. You can quote me on that.

Of course if we elected Wall-E the president all of our troubles would be solved. I'm not sure he'd be that interested. He's already spent quite a bit of time cleaning up other people's trash.

Apologies for the randomness of this post. (Or "randal-ness" if you will, although I'm nowhere near as bright as Mr. Graves.) I've only had two large cups of double-black coffee this morning so I'm nowhere near as caffeinated as usual.

Have a great rest of the week and remember: watch out for bears.