Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar musings

So the Oscars were an unmitigated failure. Let's muse...


Insert Pineapple Express joke here.


Everyone was buzzing about whether Banksy would reveal himself if his film won for best Documentary. Problem is, his film was nominated alongside a movie called "The Inside Job", which was about Wall Street corruption. That movie could have been 90 minutes of Bill Paxton playing flute in front of Goldman Sachs and it would have won.

Banksy wasn't going to happen.


Anne Hathaway sang a song about being on her own because her partner bailed on her. How apropos. James Franco spent he entire evening looking both high and mildly inconvenienced.

Dude, you're hosting the Oscars. You can't just do an ironic thing with it. This is no time for bemusement. Smile and make jokes about the British. Dammit, do something!


Whoever thought it was a good idea to kick off the show with an extended presentation crafted for a person severely debilitated by a stroke should not be hired again to do much of anything. That was about as comfortable as watching Saddam's hanging.


Hathaway introduces Billy Crystal, who introduces a hologram of Bob Hope, who introduces more presenters. Well, you can't say it looked good on paper.


Melissa Leo said the 'F' word, rather obviously on purpose. The media hype she got reminds me of the way a room of adults will devote attention to a screaming toddler instead of ignoring or spanking it.


The Wolfman won best makeup. I think Wolfman should take out television ads touting it as "The Oscar Winning Wolfman"?

That has to be the least relevant Oscar win of all time.


I mean, aside from every award Shakespeare in Love won, of course.


In a night punctuated by famous film scores, it is unnecessary to do a montage in honor of film scores.


Nobody likes Gone With The Wind, okay? Everyone who did like it is dead. You hear me? Dead. I will never show that movie to my children. They will not show it to their children's children. It. Has. Not. Aged. Well.

We don't salute The African Queen 22 times per Oscar telecast, do we? Enough with this damn movie.


Upon winning some Oscar, the winner disses his daughter's guinea pig. That was the best moment of the evening.


Trent Reznor looks like a YMCA camp counselor now. I wonder if he drives a Subaru Outback. When was the last time a truly great score won the Oscar for best score?


Did this just happen in our media market, or was there a multi-part marathon commercial for Fancy Feast that segued abruptly into ABC announcing it is renewing it's contract? That was some disconcerting TV, right there.


The person who pitched a two-part Fancy Feast advertisement should join the guy who lined up Kirk Douglas to riff for five minutes to sell banana-peeling robots to the homeless. I mean, if nobody is there to second-guess your ideas...


Good of the Academy to spoil a key plot development in True Grit in the midst of announcing the nominees for best sound mixing. Seriously?


Men in drag is pretty much an act of desperation. Are there not enough writers in Hollywood to make a three minute sketch work between two Oscar nominated actors? 'Cause I'm available.


Colin Firth ends the night on a classy note. Prepared speeches are the way to go. Spontaneous revelations of one's inability to compose a coherent thought are not impressive to anyone.


I'm done with this. Next year, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin or Jon Stewart.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monday Musings - Not emotional edition

Snowmageddon Part 14 canceled my business trip. So much wrong there, let's muse.


People are really emotional about this Wisconsin teachers thing. It is very strange to get emotional about the question of whether and how someone should negotiate his or her wages.

I do not get to negotiate my wages in any meaningful sense. Nobody is emotional about this. I am not emotional about this. There is no reason to be emotional about this.

Like, what happens, I think, is that people read talking points and stuff. They formulate a position, and internalize it. and then that position becomes part of them. It's hard not to be emotional about you.

But also, a lot of people know teachers. It's easy to be emotional about friends.


I won't comment on which side I find to be exploiting emotions. Just look at your Facebook status updates.


I think I speak for every Republican, though, when I say, literally, that I hate teachers. Let's just let the cat out of the bag, as there is no other reasonable conclusion. I'm glad we were able to hash the discussion out on this level. Reasonable dissent is a bad idea.

Also, screw unicorns.


Dodge car commercials are, suddenly, very entertaining. Their cars, on the other hand, remain poor. To which, it costs like $2,000,000 to craft a bunch of really interesting ads. It costs, like, a billion to make a better car.


Or you can be like Chevy and do neither. There is that option, clearly.


On Facebook, generally:

I hate esoteric assertions of a foul mood on Facebook. Not because they are esoteric, or foul, but because they could refer to anything. People are often literally just as devastated by soggy french fries as they are by major calamities.

So you try to engage their esoteric expression of foulness, thinking it's a soggy french fries scenario, or maybe they didn't realize Tab was diet all this time.

Then, boom, mom's dead, drunk driving, something awful happened in Tibet. No french fries involved. Now you're the heavy. Kind of an ugly bait and switch.

Solution: I could shut up, but that's boring, and defeats the purpose of Social Media.

Better solution: If mom's dead and your childhood friend was arrested, say "my mom's dead and my childhood friend was arrested", and not "life is so hard sometimes... Thank God for Doritos."



Buy a snow blower. Just do. You don't know what you're missing, but that is irrelevant to the question of whether you are missing something. That's a very bourgeois sentiment to apply to snow, but I have this question licked, and am certain of my position.


I am not emotional about snow blowers, no. I'm bourgeois about them, but not emotional.

I did get emotional over the construction of the gas can I recently purchased. There are settings, and they are tricky, and must be executed simultaneously. Again, this is a product whose only purpose is to store gasoline, and to facilitate introduction of same into a tank. Some obsessive-compulsive engineer was given too much latitude, I think.


The baby is coming along nicely. Thank you for asking. He/she is the size of a hamster or so, and has eyes, probably. It has not exploded, and does not seem to be retarded. That's about as far as I've gotten in the minutiae.


Was it really necessary for MSP to cancel every flight yesterday? I can't imagine this is so. This sort of has a "you have to turn off your computers at certain altitudes" vibe to it. I'm sure planes can operate in light snow, even if that light snow is projected to turn into heavy snow.

Is anyone an expert on aviation? I will be mildly disappointed if not.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Long time, no post. Let's beat up on Sojourners.

So here's the thing. For two years, I have asked Sojourners to stop sending me crap, insofar as they literally banned conservatives from posting on their blog.

After the Tuscon shootings, Sojourners sent me another money request, in the name of civility. I again asked that they stop. Nonetheless, the shills abide. Sucks having to cover the cost of a $160,000 per year huckster whose only goal is to sell books and get noticed at the White House, I suppose.

Naturally, Sojo is disgusted by the idea of budget cuts. Why can't we simply buy more crap we can't afford? That's what Jesus would do. Let's rock...

School lunch assistance for the hungry classmate of your child or grandchild.

Who is probably overweight, if not obese, but also covered regardless of what budget cut takes place.

Tax credits for your neighbor struggling to make ends meet.

If you are struggling to make ends meet, what could you possibly have done to deserve the sort of tax credits that are under threat?

Investment in your city’s low-income school districts.

Mostly threatened by the fact that thinking parents (and that's most of 'em) have gotten out of dodge, so to speak.

Mosquito nets and vaccines for children in impoverished nations.

Which Barack Obama literally promised to cut, with no outcry from Sojourners.

We can’t let them place the burden of deficit reduction on the poor and vulnerable.
Believe me, it isn't. It's on the people who are reading this, who are almost certainly paying taxes.

But this week we need to step it up a notch – or two! So, we plan to: Run an ad campaign called “What Would Jesus Cut?” We’ve already raised the first 10% of the cost and we need you to give a gift of $25, $50, or $100 to help us with the rest.

Let's face it, that exclamation point is pretty much just a third notch.

Send a physical reminder to members of Congress. For every donation made, we’ll send a “What Would Jesus Cut?” bracelet to a congressional office – that means 535 people need to support this work. Don’t worry, we’ll send you a bracelet as well.

Eric Cantor will be thrilled to receive this. Doesn't he know he made a pledge to Jesus Christ to advance stupid political ideas?

Other interest groups have well-paid lobbyists to protect their budget portions, but who will defend the poor if people of faith don’t?

Other lobbyists. But yes, let's all give our money to Sojourners to preserve the system whereby the best lobbyist wins.
We know you are as concerned as we are about the hungry children, the struggling neighbors, and the poor around the world. This is our chance to make our voice heard and to challenge the moral priorities of Washington.

And trains. Don't forget trains! If trains can't get from Pittsburgh to Hartford in less than five hours, little Timmy o'Toole will literally starve to death. Shame on Republicans for putting him in that well.
Give today!
Yeah, again...

P.S. Feel free to email us with more ideas on how other Christian fads of the ‘90s can be put to use in defending the poor!

Not kidding. This was seriously in the e-mail. Heck, I'm game. My ideas.

- Co-opt the whole "oral sex isn't sex" meme. The financial possibilities are endless.

- A "what would my coffee-shop/mega-church in the northern suburbs of Chicago cut?" diamond pendant.