Saturday, December 31, 2005


Happy New Year

Have a nice holiday. I hope your new year is better than ever. Please be careful and safe. Cause really, I haven't got the readers to spare.

Chronicles Of Narnia Review

So I said in my King Kong review that I'd explain my predisposition against this movie. In the fall, I got the big book with all of the Narnia novels in one hefty tome. The stories themselves are ok. I certainly didn't feel like I had wasted my time reading them. I'll probably read them again sometime. But they all seemed really short. Sure The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe had a lot going on, but many of the others didn't seem like they could support a full movie. If this first film is successful, well, it's not like waiting for the next Harry Potter book to come out; they're already done. I suppose my fear was that they'll try to squeeze movies out of these other novels that can't support full movies, and the crap that gets added will ruin the stories.

That said, LWW runs over two hours, and it was actually good. Certainly better than Kong. Almost everyone is head over heels for Kong, so I'm awfully lonely over here. I asked a Kong lover to explain to me what makes Kong so great, because I just wasn't getting it. I couldn't suspend disbelief long enough to accept and care about the characters. The answer was two words long: your loss.

I can accept that. No one is required to like everything. I'll admit that I was hoping for a bit more about what he liked about the movie, rather than his thoughts on me not liking it, but people like different things, and it isn't necessarily necessary to be able to articulate it. I did like LWW, and I'll try to tell you why. Keep in mind that in both cases (Kong and LWW) I knew the story ahead of time.

The film opens during the blitz in London, which is the excuse for sending the kids off to live in a country mansion. From oldest to youngest, the siblings are Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, and while the older three seem to be about a year apart, Lucy seems about three or four years younger than Edmund, maybe eight or nine.

Peter and Susan play the "mom and dad" of the group, Lucy is the cute kid, and Edmund is the jerk of the bunch. Edmund comes off like that one friend that's in your group that no one likes too much. That's not exactly it though. He seems very put upon. He strikes back in petty ways, such as when he mocks Lucy's claim to have found a world beyond the wardrobe. Peter and Susan often act sick of him. I'd really love to see more about how he ended up in that position. He's the outsider, the outcast, the one you have in mind when you say you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family. Another way to put it: he's got a lot of potential. And he needs it, because when he follows Lucy into Narnia on her second trip, he bumps into the White Queen, who has kept Narnia in one hundred years of winter, and is easy prey for a few soft words and kindness.

Soon enough, all four children get to Narnia, with Peter, Susan and Lucy befriending the talking animals and Edmund sneaking off to the White Queen, realizing too late who and what she really is. Fortunately, Aslan the lion has returned, and the stage is set for a battle to free Narnia from the icy grip of the evil queen.

The story does have Christian overtones, but it doesn't preach at you. Aslan is a Christ figure, but he doesn't give a lot of sermons. He comes across more like a father figure, one who will go the last mile for his children.

The kids are all well played. Edmund and Lucy are particularly well done, Edmund for the reasons noted above, and Lucy for communicating that childlike innocence the others are too old for. Susan shows some growth as well. She starts off with some rough edges, coming across as a little harsh, but the more she accepts the situation she is in, the world she is in, the more those edges soften into a pleasant young woman. Peter has the least amount of change; he's pretty much the same guy from beginning to end. I really need to single out Tilda Swinton's portrayal of the White Queen. There's a moment, and I hope you'll know it when you see it, when she strikes a blow at Aslan. And even though she has an ultimate advantage over him at this point, and even though I knew what would happen, I still almost wondered if she would be won over by his majesty. As if she was thinking that victory was in her grasp, but she was afraid to take it. It's a subtle moment, that brief recognition in her facial expression of what she is about to do, but it speaks volumes.

The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe is an entertaining, exciting movie that's not only safe for your kids to see, but actually worthy of them. It's worthy of you too. Go see it.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Whatever Happened To . . .

. . . Andrew Josh Koenig. If you're into computers, you might be thinking of Andrew Koenig. Kind of an interesting guy in his own right. And he looks like a computer type guy, too. Check him out if you don't believe me.

You might recognize the Koenig name, especially if you're into Star Trek. Getting warmer now. But I'm looking for his son, Andrew Josh Koenig. Better known as Richard Stabone. Even better known as Boner. That was his character on Growing Pains, one of those family sitcoms back in the 1980's. I was a fan. Not just because of Boner. It was an ok show, that gave a very positive family image. Your family could do a lot worse than be like the Seavers.

I seemed to recall that when Boner left the show in 1989, he was going to go into the Marines. That was what his character did, and I thought he was doing the same thing in real life. In 1990 he did some voice work for the G.I. Joe animated TV series, and a one shot on Deep Space Nine in 1993. The next we see of him is ten years later, doing some directing, editing, and writing on a couple of shorts in 2003 and 2004, and he looks to have a small role in a feature length film coming out in 2006 called The Theory Of Everything.

Of course, karma is everywhere. In 2003, he played the Joker in a short fan film Batman: Dead End. Apparently you can watch it on ifilm, although most times that site doesn't work for me. The karma comes in because I saw an interesting site that has a selection of panels from I think a 1954 Batman comic in which the term boner comes up rather often. I can see how they might get away with it on 1954. I could even see how they get away with a character named Boner on a 1985 TV show. Could we really see someone named Boner on television today? In a comic book, would you really see something like this today?

See the rest of this series, and many more old comics with similar "inappropriate" content here.

Actual Update: Thanks Ace readers for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Post Christmas Update

Well the juggling of the holiday visits went fairly well. The families all live within forty-five minutes of Bunktown, so we were able to visit one half of my family Christmas Eve, the other half Christmas morning, and Miss Tori's family on Christmas afternoon. The gifts were nice. We both got stuff we liked. I even used my spare key to hide a gift from Santa over at Miss Tori's place. Major points scored for yours truly. I have to admit, sometimes I can really pull off the sweet moves. Which is nice, because most of the time I'm sort of a schmuck. I didn't even like King Kong.

The ducks are still hanging out at Hall of Elders North. Five are wintering there this year, up from two last year. Unfortunately, Carpenter notes how they always nibble away at the dirt right at the waterline of the pond. The pond is surrounded by landscaped hills on about 2/3 of the shoreline. Granted, they may be going for bugs or whatever, and not just digging at the dirt for the fun of it, but it's a micro case of erosion issues. They undercut the banks a bit, and a bit of dirt drops into the pond. It's just a dirt pond, without an artificial lining, so it's not an issue of making the water dirty. It's also not like the trees and plants bordering the pond will be toppling into the water next week. However, it is a problem that needs to be addressed. My understanding is that the neutralization solution will not be approved for cute ducks.

Of more pressing concern is the fact that Miss Tori totally left me in the virtual dust when we played Super Mario Kart at her parents' place on Christmas. The only race I won was when her controller cord was accidentally kicked loose by her cute little niece. I saw my shot, there was no danger, so I took it. Miss Tori is nothing if not clever. She was always getting some sort of turbo boost at the start of races. Somehow she forgot to mention that this happens if you hit the gas button at just the right point on the countdown to the start of the race. She was kind enough to fill me in on what each weapon does. This advice took the form of my car getting blasted and her saying something like "That's what the red shell does." Isn't she sweet? But what am I going to do? Nothing. That's the key to good relationships: give on the nothing things, so you can keep the power on the big things. Works like a charm.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Merry Christmas!

Hope you all have a nice holiday with friends and family.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Close Encounters With The Morality Police

So there's a discussion of Spielberg's new film Munich, which is about Israel tracking down and killing the men who murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 olympics, over at Ann Althouse's place. This particular discussion started with the idea of Spielberg not being historically accurate in a film "inspired by real events." The main complaint seems to be too much empathy for terrorists, and making Israel look bloodthirsty for wanting to protect its citizens from murderers. I think that's a fair generalization of some of the discussion there. Others extended Spielberg's lack of . . . ethics, or . . . appropriate direction, or . . . well, I guess there are just some people who hate him. Good for them. Everyone needs a burning coal of resentment to keep them warm on the long, cold nights of winter. But when it comes to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, that's where I draw the line.

Here's a take from commenter Henry Woodbury:
Remember Close Encounters of the Third Kind? The hero is a guy who abandons his family to seek aliens who have shown their higher intellect by kidnapping aviators and terrorizing small children.

The vacuum that is Spielberg's moral sense has been sucking for a long long time.

I'm sorry, but I have to give old Steven the benefit of the doubt here, and my task has been made easier because Henry didn't put out his best effort to back up his claim. Where to begin?

How about last part first? I don't recall small children being terrorized by it. I grant you that his mom was afraid, maybe even terrorized, but in her case, it was fear for her son. In fact, Barry was determined to meet the aliens, and actually struggled to get away from his mother, and to them. He wanted to go. The hero, Roy Neary, felt the same.

Everyone taken against their will was kidnapped. However, based on Roy and Barry's cases, we know that not everyone taken by the aliens is taken against their will. There were several aviators and military types who were taken. We might presume that at least some of them would be willing, although in the case of the squadron that was taken, it does seem unlikely that all of the squadron members were willing. There were also a number of civilians who went with the aliens. Some of these may also have been willing.

The problem here is ascribing human motives to nonhumans. I would submit that while those taken unwillingly may have been victims of a kidnapping, those who did the taking were not, in fact, kidnappers. What would you call a pack of wolves who take down a moose and eat it? Murderers? Is a biologist who takes some bug out of the Amazon back to New York a kidnapper now? The answer is no to both questions. We should also say no to ascribing the crime of kidnapping to the aliens.

Further, everyone was returned at the same age at which they were taken. For many of them, this means that their family and friends are all dead and buried. This is a terrible loss for those who were taken, but it also means that they were rather well treated and will be able to live a full life here on earth. They are likely to be treated well by the government and a public who will pay a lot of money to see and hear their stories. Historians and sociologists will have a chance to talk to live witnesses to ways of life that are only faintly remembered by drooling elders, if any of them are still around. If I had a chance to come back a hundred years from now, at my current age, I might consider it, and I'm a disinterested observer.

We can agree now that the aliens don't terrorize small children or kidnap people. We should also be able to agree that they weren't attempting to show their intelligence by their behaviors. We simply don't have evidence from the film that this was the motivation of the aliens. Similarly, the biologist collecting bug samples is not trying to show the bugs how smart he is.

Which leaves us with Roy, the family abandoner. If those were my kids, I wouldn't have many qualms in abandoning them either. Couldn't we equally say that the wife didn't support Roy, and in effect abandoned him? She was the one who left, after all. The argument can't be made that she had to leave because her husband was a crazy alien believer, because there really were aliens. He wasn't crazy.

Put that aside though, the fact that he was right and she abandoned him. No one can deny that he had a life changing experience. He would never be the same again. Out of a nothing existence, there was suddenly a bright, shining light (no pun intended) of clarity. The new Roy has a purpose, a vision that sustains him. A direction and goal to which he can aim his life. He wasn't alone. There were many others who felt the same way. Roy happened to be the only one who made it to the landing site.

At the landing site, we notice that the government has a number of "volunteers" to make this trip, a group to which Neary is quickly added. Yet, when the aliens make their selections, they pick Neary out of the group. What motivates this choice? We might infer that even volunteers are not necessarily ready for the trip. Which implies that those who are ready are the ones who are taken. Which suggests the possibility that none of the people who are taken are taken unwillingly. Another argument against the kidnapping theory.

Back to Roy's family. Having a hero abandon his family (again, not really supported by what happens in the film) is a sign to Henry that Spielberg's moral sense sucks. Some marriages end in divorce. Some of these marriages involve children. Roy's marriage, while not formally ending with a divorce, is ended. Is it the fact of not formally divorcing that shows the bad moral sense, or is anyone who divorces, immoral? I do not know Henry. He may very well feel that all divorce is wrong and immoral. This is fine, and certainly his perogative. However, in this case, I don't think he's shown that his opinion is borne out by what actually happens in the film itself. Of course, this is all just my opinion.

It's tough being right all the time.

Actual Update: I don't usually feel good about dumping links in comment sections. If someone is interested, they can click on my name and come over here. I just left a quick note, saying I didn't agree with Henry. He replied, so I went ahead and put much of this into the comments over at Ann's place, linked above. Go on over there and have a read, if you haven't already. Henry and I may have to agree to disagree on this one, but we probably both agree that there is plenty of good stuff to read over there.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Build A Border Fence or Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Mexico is a little upset by a proposal to add up to 700 miles of fence along the US-Mexico border. The ignorance of Mexico on this issue is surprising. Let's listen in:
"Mexico is not going to bear, it is not going to permit, and it will not allow a stupid thing like this wall," (Mexican foreign minister) Derbez said.

It's hard to underestimate the ill-feeling the proposal has generated in Mexico, where editorial pages are dominated by cartoons of Uncle Sam putting up walls bearing anti-Mexican messages.

. . . many Mexicans felt betrayed by the anti-immigrant sentiment.

Mexicans are outraged by the proposed measures, especially the extension of the border wall, which many liken to the Berlin Wall.

"Our president (Vincente Fox) should oppose that wall and make them stop it, at all costs,"

Naturally, I couldn't just copy the whole thing, and for my purposes, these are the relevant quotes. Thing is, who suddenly decided that Mexico has the power to determine what we may or may not do on our side of the border? The whole point of a border is to show where one nation's power stops and another nation's power begins. So that's quote one. Quotes two and just show that Mexican editorial cartoonists and many Mexican citizens in general are also ignorant, as we shall show below. Quote four shows that Mexicans are ignorant of history and unable to make analogies. The situation would be analogous if we were building a wall to keep our own citizens in. Quote five shows the confusion of a young man who thinks that the president of Mexico is somehow also the president of the US. Well, maybe that's a stretch, but if he said Fox should make them (the US) allow doctor assisted suicide, wouldn't we agree that that is ridiculous? Or that the US stop or start fluoridating water, also ridiculous? Just because the fence issue is a subject dear to Mexicans doesn't mean that they have any more of a right to "make" us do something on this issue than they have on any other issue. They can complain all they want, I suppose, but "make" us? Hardly.

Now, for your enjoyment, I shall quote the use of all forms of immigrant, in context, from the article: keep out migrants, anti-immigrant sentiment, counter growing U.S. concerns about immigration, Mexican migrants, the proposals could stem migration, anti-immigrant sentiment, migrants, immigration backlash, issues like immigration, defense of migrants, migrants, migrants, Immigrant, immigrants right organizing, immigrant communities, activists and immigrants.

Notice a pattern there? Anything missing? Like the word illegal? Bill Maher once said republicans are good at "framing the debate" and gave an example of the estate tax being morphed into the death tax. So that's one example, but we clearly are failing on this issue. I may be mistaken, there may be exceptions, and please feel free to educate me, but I truly believe that no one can honestly say that things like the border fence are intended for any other purpose than to stop illegal immigrants, aka criminals. As you can see with all the references above, the issue is being framed as an attack against legal immigration. I believe that people who make the case in this way are being deceptive and dishonest, and they are doing it deliberately.

Illegality was mentioned in the article. Let's look at those examples: unlawful presence, illegal entrants. And there you have it. See how divorced these terms are from immigration? If I step in my neighbor's yard, it's an unlawful presence. If I signed up for a woman's marathon, and I'm a man, I'm an illegal entrant. Please, spare me.

We need to get control of this issue; we need to address this sort of blatant dishonesty. Frankly, I can't believe this issue got as far as it did by passing the House. I won't hold my breath for the Senate to grow a spine about it. Although, in the spirit of Captain Ed, I did write back on my last survey/fundraising letter that I am now Missouri: show me. I want to see some progress, some results on this and other issues, or else I'm just throwing good money after bad. We've carried these guys going on six years now, and in a lot of areas, especially on the senate side of things, they're being punked by the democrats. If I knew how to send testicles through the mail, I might consider that as my next donation. Learn about Captain Ed's Not One Dime effort here. Or maybe he's given it up by now. I don't know. I can't believe I had to Google it cause I could not find a link to it anywhere on his site. On a cheesy blog like this, you don't expect a search box, or categories, or archives, but he's a biggie. Somebody write him some code!

Gratuitously tasteless P.S.: Overheard comment on the subject of the border fence, "The Mexicans should be all in favor of the wall. It gives them a chance to practice their graffiti on the way into the country."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Alert John McCain!!!

We have documented cases of multiple acts of torture committed by western powers. These aren't just your everyday thug torturers, however. In fact, they seem quite committed to doing their very best work:
The types of mutilation are varied and creative, and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving.

Those who committed these acts freely admitted what they had done, and that they had done it "quite gleefully." Indeed, many felt "they were simply being imaginative in disposing of an excessive commodity." How tragic it is that they view their victims in this way.

Even more tragic: Not a single victim of these barbaric acts revealed even one secret that would help save lives.

Who says torture works?

Read more about this disturbing case here.

Superman's Superschlong!

While I'm catching up on my Treacher, I wonder howcome I never heard that Superman has a Superschlong? Of course, everyone knows how they touch up things to make women appear more . . . womanly, and reduce flaws, that sort of thing. But in Superman's case, they've decided he's too manly, and they have to reduce his manly perfection. Brandon Routh, the transport mechanism for the Rod of Cheney +5, will be having girls lining up behind a velvet rope for his, ummm, "velvet rope." An insider cuts to the heart of the matter:
It’s a major issue for the studio. Brandon is extremely well endowed and they don’t want it up on the big screen. We may be forced to erase his package with digital effects.

Erase his package with digital effects? Who knew Lorena Bobbit had found employment with a major studio? Sounds like just another front in the War Against Boys. Now, though, the War Against Boys is not only in the classroom, but the bedroom as well.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Who Wants To Discuss This With Mom?

Being a phone conversation made it somewhat less awkward when the Matron asked if Miss Tori and I would be in the same room when we come up to stay the night Christmas Eve.

King Kong Review. And Update!

Sometimes you just have to be in the mood. Does that tell you everything you need to know? Sometimes, a lot of hype can be a bad thing. Maybe that tells you?

So Miss Tori and I saw King Kong. And I was totally in this movie's corner. Mainly because I was predisposed against the Narnia flick, and hoped that Kong would kick Aslan's butt. However, my prejudice against Narnia can wait for that review. Suffice to say, I really wanted to see Kong, and I really wanted it to be great. Based on the reviews I was seeing, my wants and hopes wouldn't be needed. It seemed like everyone and his brother loved the hell out of it. It was finally an epic for the ages. It had actually achieved what the already classic 1933 Kong had only aspired to. And yet . . .

It just didn't do it for me. Everyone knows this story, right? It's like Titanic; we all know how it ended, so I don't have to worry about spoilers, do I? Good.

Let's start with what I did like. Of course, it was gorgeous. Kong was expressive, emotive, and a little, but not too, anthropomorphized. If that's even a word. He wasn't like Benji, in other words, smarter than most humans and only lacking the ability to speak. I bought Kong. He's 25 feet tall and living on an island with dinosaurs, about which no one seems to have any interest, sure, but I bought him.

Skull Island was impressive, and so were the New York scenes. It looked like the 1930's to me. Of course in 2005, there's no excuse for a film not to look great on screen; even if the story is total crap, it should be good looking total crap. Which I'm not saying Kong was. So it looks great, and Kong was believable.

The actors were pleasant enough. The movie seems well-cast. I didn't feel like anyone did a bad job. Jack Black did not come off as a comic unable to take a more serious turn, and his energized, sometimes over the top personality was well suited for the showman he portrayed. I don't really recall the rest of their names, so why bother? The lady did a good job. I bought her connection to Kong, and his connection to her. Looks good, Kong good, actors good. And yet . . .

It just didn't do it for me, and I'm not sure why. Somehow, it seems like this movie is less than the sum of its parts. There's so much going for it, but the goods just weren't delivered. I can suspend my disbelief. I mean, I was all into Lord of the Rings. I just didn't have enough disbelief for King Kong.

I said no spoilers, but I didn't say no nit-picking. Feel free to stop here; maybe you can still enjoy the film.

Still here? Good.

The movie is divided into three parts: get everyone on the boat, run around on the island, and Kong berserk in NYC. Part one was good. I enjoyed it and believed it. Things got dicey on the island. Did I mention the dinosaurs that no one was interested in? Then there's this big wall that keeps Kong out of the tiny sliver of island that the cult tribe lives on. Sure, they can't cultivate crops, but it's an island. Maybe they live on fish. Maybe a native goes over the wall once in a while and snags a banana or two. What do I know? But where did this wall come from? And how were the people protected from Kong during the years they were building it? Or did Kong come after the wall was built? In which case, why would they build the wall, if there was no Kong? To keep the dinosaurs out, you say? Then, again, how were they protected from the dinosaurs while they were building the wall? Not buying it.

On the other side of the wall, there are still more questions. Was Kong immaculately conceived? Why do the dino-bats have this grudge against Kong? When Kong holds the girl, his hand is around her torso/waist area, with arms and head free. I could buy that he might be careful not to crush her, even when running or fighting for his life, but I wasn't sold on the notion that her neck wouldn't have snapped from whiplash about fifty times. I mean, I've heard of shaken baby syndrome, but this is ridiculous. And I understand you can't kill off every character, but when they get caught up in the stampede of dinosaurs and I heard that only four people were killed, my jaw hit the floor. I know it hit the floor, cause I spent a half hour combing all the spit out goobers and popcorn seeds from that previous showing out of my cool beard. You go see it, and then tell me how so many survived. Of course, I couldn't understand why the dinosaurs would run the direction they did, onto cliffs that crumbled under their weight, spilling several of them hundreds of feet to their deaths. And where did all these high cliffs come from? Every time you turn around on this island, you've got a thousand foot drop on your right and a thousand foot cliff rising up on your left. And how could an island this size support these dinosaurs anyway? There simply isn't enough food.

I know, I know. You're wondering how they captured Kong? Ok. They hit him in the nose with a bottle of chloroform, see . . . ummmm . . . and then they pull open this curtain and there he is, live and on stage in New York City. The whole part in the middle? Conveniently left out. Now if you're buying all this, then more power to you. I honestly hope you enjoyed this movie. I couldn't.

So now they're in NYC. Kong breaks loose to have a warm fuzy moment on the ice with the gal. Then the army comes and chases him onto the Empire State Building. Some planes fly by and shoot him up a little. The gal is there on top of the building, Kong hanging on and groaning in agony, and then he loses his grip and falls. Speaking of Titanic, am I the only one who thought of Jack sinking into the briny deep at the end there while Rose looked on pitifully? I swear to you, even before Kong fell, the image of Jack slipping away was in my mind. Kong did a pretty good impression.

Naturally, Kong's body is in perfect condition as people crowd his corpse in the street. Being a puddle of goo would take the fun out of it I guess.

Am I just a heartless bastard? Is it just me? Did I let my hopes get up too high? The adventures on the island weren't that great. I felt bad for Kong, but not that bad. I sorta hated the Jack Black character. The whole thing left me rather blah. Of course, I'm no enviro-kook, so maybe Kong's plight is lost on my stony heart. However, I had to strongly encourage Miss Tori to see this movie. She doesn't like animal films so much, because she will cry when bad things happen to them. She warned me ahead of time that she might be pretty upset when it ended. Yeah, even she wasn't too bothered.

I am willing to take some of the blame. I violated my rule to wait a few weeks before seeing anything in the theaters (I wanted Kong to beat Aslan, you see; and on that score, mission not quite accomplished, but still doable). The turn off your cell phone ad seems to work. Now they just need one telling people to turn off their kids. Why were kids even in there? One lady in the row ahead of me had an infant. You know, one of those children that's so small it needs to be held, as it can't keep it's body upright in a seat? The kids running the aisle were a little bit older. They could make gibberish talking noises as they clumped along. And who could forget cute little Carlos, sitting two seats over from me? Carlos wanted to make sure his mommy knew that Kong yells much better than the Hulk yells. He also wanted his mommy to know how brave Kong was. And you know what? According to Carlos, his daddy is brave too. Too bad daddy wasn't brave enough to tell Carlos to shut up. So maybe I'll give it another try on cable, in a controlled environment. Maybe then, I can become immersed enough in the story to overlook the nagging questions and annoying patrons.

I suppose it's bad form to swear to God, but why stop now? I swear, oh Lord, that I will pay extra to go to a grown up theater. Not an adult theater, I only pay regular to go there, sometimes less if I have a coupon from the free weekly alternapaper. I mean a grown up theater. A theater that doesn't allow anyone under 18. Failing that, I will pay slightly extra to attend a screening at a regular theater, said screening not admitting anyone under 18. Failing that, slaughter all children. This I pray for in your name O Lord! Amen.

Actual Update: See? I knew it wasn't just me! Here's someone who's on my vibe. Not on the whole slaughtering children thing, but on the "how could Kong eat?" part of the question. This'll get you started:
My concerns are more mundane. I'm assuming that the mysterious Skull Island is somewhere in the Pacific. I'd guess a journey back to New York would be at least 3-4 weeks. That's a long time to restrain such a large animal without it getting sick and dying. I'll put that aside, as well. My concerns and questions are as follows:

1. How are they feeding King Kong? That's got to be a lot of extra bananas.

2. Monkey shit. A lot of it. A LOT of it. Someone has to clean it up.

I hear you brother. Bill, consider So Quoted, so quoted. Heh heh heh.

(And if anyone gets that subtle movie reference, I salute you!)

Thursday, December 15, 2005


The Ringer, The Farrelly Brothers, And The PR Special Olympics

The Farrelly brothers are all upset. Boo hoo. They're mad because, in an ironic twist on the South Park episode The Simpsons Already Did It, it turns out that this time, South Park already did it. Up The Down Steroid was an episode that aired in March 2004 about a normal person entering the Special Olympics figuring he can easily win, and get money and fame and all the rest. The Farrellys don't like that because they have a movie called The Ringer about pretty much the same thing.

I call BS. Turns out, within ten minutes of reading how outraged they are and how the South Park guys are "creepy" for ripping off their movie, I saw a commercial for The Ringer. This stinks of retarded PR. The episode aired almost 21 months ago, and they're only outraged now, at the beginning of the press buys for the release of their movie? Sounds to me like their sole motivation is free publicity, not hurt feelings or stolen ideas.

There was a similar dust-up when Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes came out. An inside joke between Kevin Smith and a reporter led to stories that Smith would be suing Burton for stealing the idea of a Chimp-headed Lincoln. And now that I think of it, early drafts of Mallrats had a scene in which Joey Lauren Adams' character Gwen got cum in her hair, and later her hair was strangely spiky, not unlike a scene you all remember from There's Something About Mary, a movie made by the Farrellys three years after Mallrats.

As Cartman would say, "Hella weak."

Or, as Cartman might sing, "The Farrelly brothers are big fat bitches..."

Gratuitously tasteless P.S.:
Q: What's better than winning a gold medal at the Special Olympics?
A: Not being retarded.

Actual Update: Here's someone else who knows what I'm talking about, and he got there first.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Know Your Future? No.

Just a quick writing prompt today. If you had the chance to see what your life was like 20 years in the future, would you look? Tell why or why not.

I would say no. I expected most of the kids would say yes. Instead, about 75% of them said no. Of the nays, maybe 60% felt that it would take the surprise out of life, and perhaps 15-20% each thought they might mess up their future if they knew it ahead of time, or that life was meant to be lived as it comes. A couple didn't want to know who might have died, and so wouldn't look. The yeas were split 70-30, the majority saying they would look so they could fix things that hadn't gone well and the minority looking to see how things had turned out/if their dreams had come true.

What would you do?

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Food Marketed To Kids? Scientists, Badly, Say Bad.

So there's a story from the AP about scientists who say marketing food to kids is bad. Translation: you aren't competent to raise your kids, so somebody else should. And we'll take over for all the good parents too. And decide who gets to make money doing what.

First thing that bothers me: "Food marketing strongly influences what children eat." This from the Institute of Medicine, whoever they are. Somehow I thought that parents decided what kids eat. They either buy the food, or provide the money that kids use to buy food. If parents don't like these so-called bad foods for their kids, don't buy them. Send little Billy to school with a sack lunch.

Second thing: "The report said evidence is limited on whether TV advertising directly causes obesity in children." I had always understood that the only thing that directly causes obesity is food eaten and exercise done. Has TV found a way to beam calories directly from the screen to your hips? And if so, I have to say that I really expected the technology that allows the TV to have some sort of virtual sex with me long before it would feed me. I can feed myself just fine.

Third thing: "I don't think that even the best social marketing on healthy foods can overcome the advertising and sale of breakfast cereals that taste like cookies." This from Diana Zuckerman. She's president of the National Research Center for Women and Families. Again, aren't the parents buying the cereal? Who are these kids who go to the store and buy their own cereal, take it home, and eat it, even though their parents disapprove of the cereal, and without the parents taking it away? Oh yes, they're called adult children who have moved out of mom and dad's place and are living on their own.

These people don't just think parents are incompetent. They also want to force SpongeBob and similar characters to only do advertising for healthy foods. Not only do these people want to tell you what to eat, they want to tell other people what sorts of business decisions they can make with their own intellectual property.

I guess one of the disadvantages of living in a free society is not being able to stifle those whose only goal is taking your freedoms away.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Arnold Getting Sick Isn't Helping Tookie Feel Better

Gov Arnold had an owie, and he needed to go to the hospital. Rumors that he was sick, and the other dog was pushing him there, were later proved to be unfounded. Rumors that he was hoping to be out of commission for another week to avoid making the Stanley Tookie Williams decision are considered semi-founded at this time. Best part of it all:

Normally, whenever the governor is even temporarily disabled, the lieutenant
governor takes over the office.
Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante's office said in this case, they were never told about the governor's trip to the hospital.

It's good to be needed. We've got a few thousand employees, and we had to wait for a month to fill a key position because the person that makes that decision was on vacation. That guy's needed. Cruz? Not so much. Tookie? Not so much either, as far as I'm concerned.

Guest Posting Elsewhere. You Go Look Now!

Today's post is a comment to this post here. Time stamp on the comment is December 7, 2005 10:20 PM. You go look now!

Friday, December 02, 2005


Monty Variant - Never Marry A Judge

Monty's Doors and the Missing Dollar are here. Being the punk that I am, here's another "which should you choose" puzzle.

Henry has been caught stealing cattle, and is brought in to town for justice. The judge is his ex-wife Gretchen, who wants to show him some sympathy, but the law clearly calls for two shots to be taken at Henry from close range. To make things a little better for Henry, Gretchen tells him she will place two bullets into a six-chambered revolver in successive order. She will spin the chamber, close it, and take one shot. If Henry is still alive, she will then either take another shot, or spin the chamber again before shooting.

Henry is a bit incredulous that his own ex-wife would carry out the punishment, and a bit sad that she was always such a rule follower. He steels himself as Gretchen loads the chambers, spins the revolver, and pulls the trigger. Whew! It was blank. Then Gretchen asks, "Do you want me to pull the trigger again, or should I spin the chamber a second time before pulling the trigger?"

What should Henry choose?

Ok, go crazy!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Enhanced Services Billing Inc Update

Updating this rather longish post here, I did make the call, and everything seems to be squared away this time. We'll see how it goes in another month. In the meantime, if you really want to see what jerks these guys are, check out this place called Rip-Off Report. I don't know why ESBI hasn't been sued again; they seem to be doing the same sort of stuff they were doing in the last lawsuit they lost.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?