Friday, February 29, 2008

Top Ten Fridays: PIck up lines

10. I just spilled wine in your hair. It matches your eyes. Forgive me?

9. Why don’t you come back to my apartment and read my God-awful poetry?

8. So, hey, like… I’m drunk, which you may or may not be, and that’s… I want you to know I’m completely cool either way. It’s just, you know? Why aren’t we talking to each other? Like, as… I don’t know have you seen the movie Jumpers?

7. I’d buy you a drink but my curfew at the recovery center is 9 pm. Do you have a breath mint? I’m a DJ, by the way. There is no reason why you should question the veracity of that remark.

6. You look dumb. Sorry, did I say that out loud?

5. (For husbands) Are we going to have sex before or after we watch Idol.? Niether of the above? Okay… Cool, I’ll put on pants, then.

4. (For Christians) So, I was thinking, you and I have been friends for awhile, and we’ve gone out to dinner, and to movies, and I was just wondering if you had thought, I mean prayed, I mean, if you were praying about, maybe… I mean, I respect you, and your heart for the Lord so much, and I’ve just been readin scripture, and I think you might be the one and so I was think… praying? Oh, you don’t? That’s cool. No, I respect our friendship.

3. (For Christians) I’d like to take you out for dinner, so what are you doing next Thursday. Cool, does 7:30 work?

2. (For Christians)

Age: 33

Hobbies: Church, sports.

Race: 200 meter. Ha-ha, j/k, I’m white.

Picture with profile?: No.

1. I'll have you know I've spent eight years developing a tolerance for mace.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

RIP: William F. Buckley Jr.

Few, if any, conservatives have been more influential. None combined his influence and genius. Take the time today to read something he wrote. If you find yourself in disagreement, consider, as so many have before you, that you might be wrong.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday Musings

Monday was Oscars, now it is time for musing merriment.

Yesterday, I made a snide comment about America not caring about the writers strike. I am not sympathetic to strikers in general, but I certainly see their point. Anyone who has attempted to write a screenplay or teleplay (is that an archaci term, teleplay?) knows that it is extremely hard. Most attempts, even from seasoned professionals, are absolutely abysmal.

And yet, the talented writers are sequestered from the filmmaking process, ignored by actors, disinvited to advance screenings. Oh, and they are paid a pittance for what they do. Kate Hudson gets $10 million to be pretty and stupid (to be fair, she delivers in spades), while a screenwriter gets about $25k to have his once-decent script mangled by producers and focus groups into something to which he may or may not want to have his name attached.

But, then, Hollywood is bad people, which is why normal people tune out when they preach their politics to us.


Emergent Christian Bart Campolo, on his work with the poor:

In the meantime, since you don't have Smell-O-Vision, or Odorama, or probably even a good aroma therapy kit, I guess you'll have to take my word for it that loving poor people can be an awfully smelly business.
I guess...


So, the NYT has continued to dig it's own grave, buy having it's public editor defend it's front-page hit piece on John McCain. Had the reporters only refrained form focusing on sex, says he, they would have had a great story. About what? That it was in McCain's best interest to distance himself from lobbyists whilst riding on a bus called the "Straight Talk Express?"

Lobbyists talk to elected officials. All of them. They talk to Hillary Clinton, they talk to Hopeface, they talk to everyone. Occasionally, they are listened to. That's why they do it. It's not news, and it certainly isn't front page news.


I am tired of sports programming, or at least the way it is offered to me. Regular readers know that I am a fan of professional basketball. Professional basketball is extremely difficult to find, as are other professional sports. Why? Because professional sporting events have been rendered as premium programming.

So, in spite of the fact that I have two dozen sports channels at my disposal, I can almost never watch my beloved Pistons do battle. Ball St. field hockey? Check. Women's rugby? 24/7. Highlights from transexual equestrian events in the 1970s? Thank you Big Ten network! Last night, NBA League Pass broadband was showing a Montana/Idaho St. game from the NIGHT BEFORE.

I wish I were Chinese so David Stern would care about me.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Truncated Oscar Musings

The opening montage reminds me of a theme park ride from 1986 that is slated for destruction. Years ago, it would have been a thrill. Now, it’s painful and embarrassing and might give you a rash.


Jon Stewart begins with a reference to the writers strike that failed to capture America’s imagination. The average American at home is staring inquisitively at the screen wondering “what do writers have to do with movies?”


Someone needs to tell women that the hair-in-the-eyes trend isn’t going to work out. If Jennifer Garner can’t look pretty with it, it’s done. She looks like Anton Chigurh. Seriously ladies, your eyes are the one thing that can distract us from your breasts. Keep ‘em out there. The eyes, I mean.


Wait. Amy Adams can actually sing? And she was cast in a movie musical? Is that allowed anymore? Maybe they didn’t know at the time.


You know what I hate about the technical awards? At least two people have to win them. I am deprived even of the ability to identify with the winner, because there are usually six of them, and they are never interesting people. I’m all for honoring behind the scenes folk, but let’s can it with the cattle calls, eh?


Jennifer Hudson looks like Jiffy Pop popcorn.


The montage parody is inspired. On the heels of the Bardem win, and then that out of nowhere “August Rush” song, that may have been the best ten minutes in Oscar.


Did that bee movie ever come out, or is it just one, unending advertising campaign? That’ll do, Jerry Seinfeld.


Tilda Swinton, ladies and gentlemen. I think it’s safe to say she’ll have some offers to play a serial killer in the very near future. Best speech ever.




Wait, does 3:10 to Yuma really feature an exploding horse? Did I see that correctly?


I guess Marion Cotillard was happy to win the Oscar. No award surprises so far. I mean, maybe the sound editing world just got turned upside down minutes ago, but...


So, how does the song from “Once” qualify as an original song when it had already been featured on an album? Free jelly beans if anyone has an answer.


Nicole Kidman looks like she blew her nose in an ice storm.


Tivo was invented for the Honorary Oscar.


New best speech ever. Marketa Irglova. That was a rare touch of class from Hollywood.


Amy Adams is sweeter than a pile of peaches. I bet she’s had a lot of “Bad Ladder” type guy friends in her life.


Our soliders watch a lot of movies in Iraq, and they “like them all”? I guess we didn’t send them Norbit. I’m guessing they didn’t see the winner they announced either. Just a hunch.


Please no Michael Moore, please no Michael Moore, please no Michael Moore. Meh, this guy isn’t much better. Well, a million liberals feel better about themselves. Don’t lose the hope, people. Remember, you are better than us, and that is all that matters.


DIABLO !!!!!!!! Funny story. About a year ago, I asked an intern to produce a list of local reporters who might be interested in writing a feature piece on an Internet networking device. Said intern produced a list that included Cody’s name. I asked her if she didn’t want to recheck that name.


And thank you Direct TV for switching the name of the program following the Oscars so that everyone recording it just missed it. Nice work, Direct TV. That’s fantastic. $120 per month well spent.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Oscar Preview: No Country For Old Men

The Coen Brothers have a penchant for delivering laconic killers. Most of their films center around fundamentally decent, if seriously flawed, individuals lost in the shadows of implacable mayhem. Blood Simple gave us a triple crossing Private Investigator. Fargo gave us a killer who made Steve Buscemi look like Robin Williams by comparison. The Big Lebowski set its genial pothead against a veritable syndicate of doom. These characters seem to live as the manifestation of the protagonists’ worst impulses, and as living consequences of their misdeeds.

From this mold comes Anton Chigurh, a killer whose very ethical code requires him to kill. And kill he does. No Country For Old Men has the mortality rate of a modern slasher. But Chigurh is not so quiet as the Coens' previous baddies. He talks, at least a little bit. He is confident, articulate and, to some degree, wise. His wisdom is not born of experience or intelligence, but rather the simply knowledge of how the story is going to end. His is a prophecy self-fulfilled.

No Country For Old Men is not a typical Coen Brothers film. There are no bumbling sidekicks or baffling non-sequitors. There are no silly moustaches or cheap southern accents. There isn’t even a film score. The film plays it entirely straight. We are allowed to observe as characters make every effort to talk and maneuver their way out of his grasp.

Chigurh is not a madman. In fact, his existence is very utilitarian. He uses a tracking device to locate his desired prey, and an air-compressor to eliminate physical barriers. His are the tools of law-enforcement, though the laws he enforces are his own. He does not kill so much as he deconstructs. In the end, his target is undone by his own misdeed. Chigurh is merely the messenger.

Ironically, Chigurh himself is chased by real law-enforcement. But unlike Frances McDormand’s affable Minnesotan genius, the grizzled Tommy Lee Jones’ pursuit ends in futility. As he gives chase, he struggles to grasp Chigurh’s tactics, his motivations, and his desires. If he can understand Chigurh, maybe he can make sense of his role in the world. But Chigurh can only be explained by his own internal consistency. Worldly standards do not apply.

Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem in a role that is so obviously Oscar-Worthy that I can’t see how he wins the thing) introduces himself by way of an ingenious piece of dialogue. Confronting an innocent gas station owner, he asks him to flip a coin. For what? For everything. Chigurh knows everything about this fellow, but remains undecided, and so defers to a higher power.

The scene is powerful for what remains unsaid, and we sense that this is the first time the owner has taken stock of his life. But Chigurh has begun doing so from the moment he walks into the shop. Remarkably observant, Chigurh is able to have familiar conversations with characters he has never met. More than an angel of death, he is not carrying out orders (we never fully learn of his motivations), though his actions seem inevitable.

All of this inevitability is played out against the vast expanse of the American South in the early 1980s. While most directors plague such landscapes with luscious sunrises and pregnant wind howls, the Coens’ camera simply observes. The hills and horizons are endless and unsolvable. The toughest men are lost against this wall of inhumanity.

At the end of the film, Jones is left muttering to himself about dreams and memories. Dressed down to his very essence, he too has been deconstructed by Chigurh. In one of the films finest moments, he recounts a dream about his deceased father. His father leaves him behind, and Jones is alone against the darkness. No flashback is needed. We can see the dream flashing before his increasingly vacant eyes.

So ends one of the finest films ever made.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oscar Preview: Atonement the Unwatchable

In my quest to review all of the Oscar nominees, I wanted to view Atonement. Alas, I was rebuffed. I have, on occasion, seen films by myself. I knew I wasn't going to find a companion to watch The Hours, for example. But there is something utterly depressing about the notion of seeing a romantic film by one's self, especially when said self is MARRIED, that I simply could not subject myself to the indignity.

To be fair, Atonement has a lot of things going against it. It is a war movie, thus alienating the average woman (a cultural subset that happens to include my wife), but it is also a romance, meaning it has no appeal to a male. To my knowledge, I don't have any gay friends, so I was really behind the eight ball on this one.

Compounding matters is the presence of Keira Knightley, who, to my surprise, is the most reviled actress in the history of cinema. Mentioning her name at a dinner party is like making a racist political comment. Everyone sort of nods in feigned agreement, swirls their drink a bit, and tries to avoid eye contact. Keira Knightley is the peach sparkling water of cinema.

Knightley is sort of the new Gwyneth Paltrow, but less exotic and not talented. So we have a romantic war movie with a title possessing one word which conveys almost no meaning. Worse, the film was marketed as a coquettish costume drama. So even for those who can look past the subject matter (did I mention this is a tragic romantic war movie?), there is the whole issue of whether one is in the mood to invest their own hard earned dollars to watch one of those movies.

The filmmakers could have at least taken a cue from the Weinstein clan and cast Johnny Depp, or even one of the Fiennes' to lure the women. Instead, we get Brenda Blethyn, veteran of British charm pictures.

Oh, and the film is told in flashbacks. Thanks for that.

So, yeah, nobody wanted to see it with me, and I will probably die without having seen it, which is sad because it is probably a great movie. Without any further adieu, here is my somewhat uninformed review:

Atonement is about the redemptive human spirit, and the limitations thereof. Keira Knightley surprises with a nuanced performance, and my God aren't typewriters symbolic? This is an eipc drama for the ages. Kudos to the costume designers, I'm off to drink Pabst and see about a squirrel.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oscar Preview: Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton’s titular character is introduced as one of those slick, loquaciously efficient, tell-it-like-it-is types who only exist in films. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of everything that happens to be relevant to a particular conundrum, and they are always on hand to deal with YOUR particular conundrum. Films generally exploit such characters for witty one-liners and best supporting actor nominations. Michael Clayton puts him center stage.

The film plays like a more meditative Grisham novelpic. In real life, a character with Clayton’s gifts would be burdened to exhaustion, torn between the temporal demands of his “job” and his own moral ambivalence. And indeed, George Clooney’s character is seen growing distant from his family, working through the night, and bouncing from city to city. The life of the snarky, oddly comforting, know-it-all is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Many have interpreted Michael Clayton as a moral fable, a commentary on corporate greed and (yes) a commentary on the Bush administration. Really, it’s just a legal thriller with interesting characters and solid direction, but I suppose the presence of the ClooneyChrist as the dynamic anti-hero who eventually uses his powers for good makes such comparisons unavoidable.

As a social commentary it fails for the reason that (spoiler alert) the movies villains not only skirt laws, but flaunt them in a manner that anyone can agree is immoral. They steal, murder, and hide bodies… All onscreen. A more ambitious film might have tucked such nefarious activities under the guise of standard business practice, but this doesn’t really seem to be that kind of movie.

Perhaps it is a function of these paranoid times that viewers foist such high minded moralism upon what amounts to simply a taut legal thriller. In this paradigm, we must either love or hate corporations, understand Tilda Swinton’s every twitch and twitter as a robotic machination, and even appreciate Tom Wilkinson’s abject madness in the film. Everyone is selfish who needs to be selfish, and everyone is likewise magnanimous (especially Clooney) as the plot demands.

But, really, this isn’t that sort of film. Michael Clayton is sympathetic with not only its conflicted protagonist, but also with Swinton’s corporate villainess. Her vanity is a product of her compulsion to please, and we sense she was promoted beyond her ability for the express purpose of taking a fall for her biochemical company. The film fills the fringes of Wilkinson’s madness with self-infatuation and debauchery (he offhandedly confesses to exploiting sex slaves at the service of what he perceives to be a more compelling story). He may have seen the light, but he produces only darkness.

But such grandiosity speaks to Academy voters, and Clayton’s producers (Clooney included) clearly had Oscar ambitions, (anchored no doubt, by Swinton and Wilkinson’s phenomenal work) so modern morality play it is.

But I prefer the film as a character driven thriller. In Clooney’s short intervals with his son, he offers soliloquies on what he believes his son will become. His on-the-fly-parenting provides the film’s most authentic moments. Clooney has limited time with his son, and intends to use it by making sure his son does not follow his footsteps. Swinton is the type of corporate entity who needs to be precise in her language. When she goes off the cuff, she gets in trouble, hence the robotics. The film sees her not as cruel, but as incapable of choosing the less efficient solution. Perhaps, then, she is the worst kind of cruel.

Michael Clayton is a good film, and not a great one, and certainly not one of the best films of the year. My one hope for the end of the Bush administration is that activists will cease to ascribe altruistic virtue to their character for the simple fact that they are not murderers and thieves. Such thinking is hubris. That Michael Clayton is entertaining is irrefutable. To suggest that it stands athwart some commonly held morality (or lack thereof) is absurd.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Best Picture Previews: Juno

Juno’s opening salvo reminded me of a self-conscious hyper-intelligent girl on a first date. She’s smart, she desperately needs you to know that she’s smart and, well, now she just flung her martini into your lap with a histrionic hand gesture. The interplay between the lead character and Rainn Wilson is hip to the point of absurdity. It’s as thought the film’s opening was rewritten by a modern day James Joyce.

Fortunately, the nervous dater happens to be a really hot chick. Once it calms down a bit, Juno is an observant comedy with a (profoundly) distinct voice and some of the crispiest dialogue in ages. There’s a bit of Mamet in screenwriter Diablo Cody’s cadence, but also a hyper-awareness of the mundane that forces us to pay attention. A burger phone is funny. A burger phone as explanation for a poor connection is uproarious,

Everyone reading this blog knows that film’s plot by now. Teen gets pregnant and finds adoptive parents. It has been called a pro-life comedy, though I can’t imagine that is what the filmmakers intended. The film does not celebrate death, I suppose, but few comedies do, and any serious consideration of an abortion would have ended the film about 22 minutes in. Call it the politics of extended running times.

The film’s beauty is not in its message (I’m not sure it has one, which is refreshing in this era of the Clooney-Christ) but in its truth. In this film, we see everyone contending with teenage pregnancy in a manner befitting his or her age range. Juno may talk like a stripper turned screenwriter, but she responds to emotional and physiological changes as though she has never experienced them (which, of course, she hasn’t).

Contrast Juno’s bafflement with the collectedness of her parents. When Juno confesses she is pregnant, their only real surprise is at her choice of mate, though the father concedes he assumed drugs to be responsible for Juno’s erratic behavior. No faces are slapped in this movie, not a single valuable dish is broken. Abortion politics are handled in a low-key fashion, and the movie moves forward once it has mined it’s precipitating event for comic gold.

But Juno is realistic, not optimistic. The would-be adoptive parents have a terrible marriage, a fact which reveals itself slowly in the interactions between the father-to-be and Juno. In an original twist, however, the film assigns blame. Eschewing the Braffian moral code, in which women impose unfair expectations of maturity and fidelity upon males, Jason Bateman’s character is selfish and lazy.

The film is not unsympathetic to the plight a 30-something former grunger, and he is far from a traditional antagonist, but the film is astute in observing that he really should have grown up by now. Juno is that rare film that actually expects something of its characters. Juno herself recognizes her selfishness, as any mature woman does toward the twilight of her teen years. Other characters fail to live up to their expectations, with disastrous consequences.

If anything, then, Juno is an authentically feminist film. As a former stripper, Cody has seen men engaging their very worst impulses, and every negative plot development can be attributed to a genuine failure of men to act like men. That means sometimes saying no to your girlfriend’s sexual advances (and, certainly, perceived advances by a teenage surrogate mother). That means putting the guitar down and helping paint the damn bedroom.

But even then, Juno delivers its message with a dose of encouragement, and even a bit of humility. As hip as it may be, the film is not too cool for tears or genuine emotions. Few critics have made note of the film’s casting. Nearly all of the film’s leads have a strong television background, most notably Bateman, Jennifer Garner and Allison Janney. Perhaps this explains the ability of each actor to execute comedic elements while holding onto a delicately simple narrative.

Like it’s raunchy young brother “Knocked Up”, Juno performed well critically and financially. Hopefully, Hollywood will learn the correct lesson from its success. Audiences are not asking for more pregnancy movies (please God no, in fact), but films that reveal truths about familiar situations. You know, actual drama, filmed and presented on a wide screen?

Juno is real drama at it’s best.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Obama Flavor!!!

Barack Obama. Now with sprinkles!

Feel the hope flavors!!!!!!!!!







Taste the audacity!!!!!!

H/T Thom Gladhill

Monday, February 11, 2008

Who hates China? I do, I do.

Buried beneath the Obama-soaked headlines today was a little-noticed piece coming out of Britain. Apparently, the British government was at the precipice of instituting a gag order on Olympic athletes who would speak out about Chinese human rights abuses.

Read that again. I am not exaggerating. I am not making it up. That was the plan... Until people got (understandably, for crying out loud) hissy about it. Raised a dander, so says the author.

See, China imprisons those who speak out against their communist government, or who practice religion, or who defecate to frequently... Any port in a storm when it comes to oppression, eh? They harvest the organs of political enemies as well. Dander-worthy, if I say so myself. China is poison.

That China won the right to foist it's Godless nightmare of a national ethos on the rest of us is a tragedy in it's own right. The British, in the name of, I dunno, being European dolts, wanted to ensure that none of their cherished athletes would...

Well, what, exactly? According to one British official, "This clause is intended to stop overt statements such as wearing a Free Tibet shirt." God forbid.

Americans (the good people at Google excepted) would do well to recall the European nations do not recognize the right to free speech. They and China have that in common. In fact, that's part of why we defeated the British. We must continue to defeat them, along with their stupid ideas, in perpetuity.

If the presence of democracies (or, in the case of Britain, theoretical democracies) in a murderous region such as China is to have any positive effect, if the very thing of participating in the games they absurdly own the right to host is to bear any fruit, then athletes ought to be encouraged to question the practices of the Chinese government. If anything, such protests ought to be mandatory.

As Jesse Owens made a mockery of Hitler, so too should our athletes wear "Free Tibet" t-shirts with pride. If it costs them a medal, they have gained ten-fold the right to share a piece of real history. If the International Olympic Committee finds humiliation in such acts, all the more should our athletes find dignity.

The British are too short-sighted to see that opportunity. They always have been. But, then, that's why God made America and, to a lesser extent, Canada.

So, as an American (hoping not to be censored by Google, whose blogging software I utlize) I say Free Tibet, both before and after the Olympic games. And, while were at it, free China too.

Monday Musings

I wanna run through the halls of the high school. I wanna muse at the top of my lungs.

Hey you, in the 1990 Corolla. Don’t look at me all guilty like you know what you did and you’re sorry, just stop merging onto the highway at 31 mph. That’s what I need. Just change before someone dies because you are an idiot.


So Hopeface had a big weekend for the Democrats. How do you explain Obama’s sudden momentum? Did a bunch of angry liberals take the gun out of their mouths for a second and think to themselves “well, might as well take American down with me…” I cannot take seriously anyone who thinks that clown should be president.


Roy Scheider of Seaquest DSV fame died at some point recently. Smart move, I say. A B-list actor should always try to die right before the Oscars. He’s bumped himself to the front of the “In Memoriam” section. Should be a good one this year, instead of a bunch of damn cinematographers and conductors.


I am elsewhere on the Internets as we speak. Check me out. I give you basketball and music. You see how I’m multi-faceted. I'm the Bing Crosby of the blogosphere.


Herbie Hancock won the Grammy for album of the year, once again demonstrating the relevance of this particular award. In related news, Kanye West has announced that he is beginning work on an instrumental album featuring the works of Herbie Hancock. The proposed title “evidence that I am somehow better than Herbie Hancock, and that I am also the master of great s---, Vol. 1”


The Kate Hudson-Matthew Macaugheneghy vehicle “Fool’s Gold” debuted at number one at the office. Movie audiences, however, reportedly felt cheated, noting that they didn’t get any gold. I’m Norm MacDonald. Good night.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Top Ten Fridays: Gremlins

These are my favorite gremlins...

10. Spike

9. Stripe

8. That one who sang Sinatra

7. Gizmo (he's a gremlin inside)

6. AMC Gremlin

5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

4. Gizmo (I can put him twice because he was the star).

3. Cory Feldman

2. Stripe

1. Gizmo

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Go Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy D, Jimmy D

On a Super Tuesday that would see Sen. John McCain ride his TPWK endorsement to the precipice of victory, successful parent and myopic political advocate Dr. James Dobson issued a statement expressing his disappointment with the candidates selected by the two parties. Read the whole thing here. Excerpts accompanied by my commentary below.

As voters in 24 states headed to the polls today to choose a presidential nominee, Dr. James Dobson released a statement to The Laura Ingraham Show.

Isn't Laura Ingraham Roman Catholic? Any port in a storm, I guess.

I am deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, voted for embryonic stem-cell research to kill nascent human beings,

Well there is a subtle intro for you. The hell with pleasantries; let's head straight to the laundry list.

has little regard for freedom of speech, organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters in judicial hearings, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.

My church uses obscene and foul language. Our band sang "Creep" WITH the F-word. To be fair, our band isn't running for president. As for the Gang of 14 canard, McCain's work paved the way for John Roberts and Sam Alito to be confirmed to the bench. It wasn't going to happen otherwise. Trust me, I was there.

McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president.

So long as he thinks that he would make a better one, which he clearly does, why on earth should I care what he thinks about Hillary Clinton?

Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down.

I can see the ad now. Dr. James Dobson calls John McCain "a spoonful of sugar..."

I cannot, and will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.

How magnanimous. If Sen. Brownback were still in the race, I would make a "Sam I am" joke here.

But what a sad and melancholy decision this is for me and many other conservatives.

Other conservatives? Speak for yourself, homeslice. I am ecstatic to have to opportunity to vote for the one candidate who has his head out of his ass when it comes to foreign policy. Unlike James Dobson, I refuse to sit idly buy while Islamofascists play tic-tac-toe with a world map. I don't have an underground Christian compound in the Rocky Mountains that I can run do when the crap goes down. Unlike you, I feel obligated to take politics seriously.

Also, saying something is "sad" and "melancholy" is redundant.

Should Sen. McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime.

Yeah, Carter Vs. Ford was a clash of the friggin' titans.

If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life. These decisions are my personal views and do not represent the organization with which I am affiliated.

Yeah, I'm sure the political debate is as heated as it is nuanced at FOTF HQ.

Amos: You know what's wrong with this country?
Jacob: Democrats.
Amos: You know, I was about to say liberals, but I think you're right.
Jacob: Oh no, liberals are bad too. You make a good point. I hadn't thought of that.
Amos: I love you.
Jacob: Yeah, that's why you have to go to the camps.

"Dr. Dobson's statement speaks for itself," said Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media relations for Focus on the Family Action.

Thank you for the insightful commentary, Mr. Schneeberger.

"all I see is his own personal 'straight talk' regarding why he can't vote for one candidate."

Really? Cause what I saw was a desperate struggle for relevance masked as a... Oh, right, the IRS... Yes, thank you James Dobson for your off-the-cuff remarks, undoubtedly prepared and edited by you only, and reproduced on your organization's website by mere happenstance.

While (Dobson) made it clear he was not endorsing anyone, he did say he would vote for former Gov. Mitt Romney — a Mormon — if he wins the Republican nomination:

Nothing says "I don't endorse anyone" like telling everyone who you intend to vote for. I'm glad that believing in a false God rates somewhere beneath cussing on Dobson's list o' disqualifying sins.

My theology is very, very different, obviously,

Obviously. Of course.

and I would not find myself in agreement with the ways he sees Scripture,

On account of your theology is so very, very different. Understandable.

and, of course, their own interpretation and extension of Scripture.

Yes, well, and they add other scriptures... And the stuff with the tablets, the underwear and distant planets... Very, very different as respects theology, you see.

I'm not in any way minimizing that; it's a very important issue.

No. One's opinion of God is much less important than one's opinion of Hillary Clinton. That makes total sense. We're on the same page, completely.

"I think we're facing such a point of crisis in our country, that we're going to have to have the strongest leadership we can."

So this election is about leadership all of a sudden? I thought it was about swearing and gay marriage. And why, pray tell, is McCain not a leader, whereas Romney is? And why is Dobson so interested in a candidate who, in addition to belonging to an influential, Godless cult, essentially spots 25 percentage points to the "virulent" Hillary and Obama?

If Dobson wants to be taken seriously, he should explore the answers to these questions. Otherwise, he simply sounds like a shill. I am beginning the suspect that he is one.


No thank you.

For Stanley Hauerwas


Monday, February 04, 2008

Monday Musings - Superbowl edition.

Superbowl Action – Manmade football frenzy!!!!

Did you know that Fox has a new show called the Sara Conner Chronicles? It’s like the Terminator and with robots and if this idea doesn’t appeal to you the first time, I can’t imagine why you 1,543,356 ads for the show would persuade you. It’s like sushi. Either you dig robot-related melodrama with PG-13 violence or you don’t.


Salesgenie made Superbowl history by reintroducing racism to the proceedings. Ling Ling the panda? Seriously? See, this is what happens when the race hysterics beat the drum every time Barack Obama is deemed articulate. They’ve been crying wolf for years, only to allow abject bigotry into the mainstream.

Of course, by posting this, I am giving the dolt who wrote this (the company’s CEO, who opted to “bypass” traditional agencies and write the ads himself) precisely what he wants. He wants controversy. The more controversy the ads generate, the more popular his product becomes with salesman, who (typically) lack the intelligence or decency comprehend the implications of disturbing stereotypes.

Congratulations, SalesGenie. I’m certain every defunct mortgage lender is presently dialing up your website on his Blackberry from his new job at the Toyota dealership.


Actually, it seemed like a lot of companies were by-passing ad agencies, altogether. Audi ventured into previously mined comic territory by spoofing the Godfather for some reason. Bud Light stole Wendy’s (uninteresting) fire breathing gag. Gatorade gives us 30 seconds of a dog drinking from a dog bowl, which could have been an ad for any product wishing to tap into the inherent popularity of dogs being dogs.

Vitamin Energy Water had an ad with people lifting heavy chains, and another with Shaq riding a motorcycle. Why the hell are people getting paid to produce this? Has middle-management managed to cull every insightful and intelligent person from the ranks of our agencies and marketing departments? Are companies so enamored of Phyllis, the husky, middle-aged marketing director with a rudimentary understanding of metrics, that they are blind to the schlock they are putting on the airwaves? (Answer: Yeah, pretty much).


Oh, the Giants won, and Randy Moss did some sort of curious dance after scoring a touchdown. ELI HAS GROWN UP BEFORE OUR EEEYYYYYYYEEEESSSSS….


Maybe next year SalesGenie can liven things up by depicting a live sexual assault. I mean, once decency is out the window, why pull punches?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Reflections On My Maturity Level

Suffice to say, I can't imagine I'm the only one to blog about this. Thank you CNN. The 13 year old boy in me is drinking whiskey and singing showtunes.

What the hell did I just say?