Thursday, December 29, 2005

I Got Nothin'...

S'been a while...

I've been in a mood to take a road trip out to the desert lately. The Midwest is boring as hell, but you knew that already. So, in the spirit of hopping in a car and heading out to where the mighty Saguaro grow, here's some top-ten filler:

Top Ten Road-Trip Songs

01.) Hank Williams - "Ramblin' Man"
02.) Pell Mell - "Nothing Lies Still Long"
03.) Calexico - "Crystal Frontier (widescreen version)"
04.) Cracker - "Loser"
05.) The Flying Burrito Brothers - "Christine's Tune (Devil in Disguise)"
06.) Grandpaboy - "High Time"
07.) Son Volt - "Windfall"
08.) Frank Black - "I Heard Ramona Sing"
09.) The Rolling Stones - "Moonlight Mile"
10.) Tarnation - "Your Thoughts and Mine"

That's it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Filler Time

Nothing much to report. Oh, I know -- the Republicans continue to be corrupt, lying assholes; Johnny "Jesus" Damon pocketed a cool $52 mil by jumping the Red Sox ship for the Dark Lord Steinbenner's Legion of Pricks; and the Cubs already suck again. I just learned that they signed Juan "Spooky" Pierre. Good call, guys. Even better: He's the new lead-off hitter.

?!

Not only is Pierre an outstandingly average player, but he looks like a refugee from a Tim Burton movie. Just slug down some whiskey (for the pain) and watch a '06 season Cubs game. You'll see what I mean.

Can we impeach Dusty Baker? Wouldn't that be nice?

"YerrrrrOWT, Dusty! Outta there! Out! YerrrrrOWT! Go away! Go away! Out, out, out!"

More filler, less killer:

Top Fifteen Tunes of the Day

01.) PJ Harvey - "50ft Queenie"
02.) Jimi Hendrix - "Who Knows"
03.) Johnny Cash - "Cocaine Blues"
04.) Little Richard - "Keep a Knockin'"
05.) Camper Van Beethoven - "No More Bullshit"
06.) The Minutemen - "Jesus and Tequila"
07.) X - "The Hungry Wolf"
08.) Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant - "Stratosphere Boogie"
09.) The Ramones - "Rockaway Beach"
10.) The Replacements - "I Will Dare"
11.) Calexico - "Sirena"
12.) The Pogues - "Thousands Are Sailing"
13.) Neko Case & Her Boyfriends - "Guided by Wire"
14.) The Clash - "Clampdown"
15.) Hank Williams - "Move It on Over"

Over and out.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Schadenfreude

It looks like the good people of Pennsylvania have triumphed over the Christianist flying monkeys in the wee town of Dover.

I love it when sanity and reason banish manipulative superstitions back to the darkness of ignorance. These pseudo-Christian religio-fascist circus freaks and their fraudulent "intelligent design" horse-shit are anathema to an enlightened society. Kudos to the citizens of Dover for giving the American Taliban the boot.

Now, about Kansas...

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Monster Mash

I just saw "Kong" this past weekend.

What a piece of shit.

This hasn't been a good year for movies to say the least, but I was hoping that the holiday release period might gimme something to savor that's both visually delicious and narratively nutritious (or vice-a-versa).

Nope.

The first big holiday movie of the season that I saw was "The Chronicles of Narnia". Uh...lemme 'splain:

I would never have seen "Narnia" had it not been for my better half wanting to get out and see a movie. She read the books as a kid, so at least she had a working knowledge of the story from which she could approach and assess the movie. The only thing I knew about it was that a.) the lion was supposed to be Jesus and b.) he was called "Aslan", thus my "Arslan" was gonna need a new handle. But, I knew nothing about the story and frankly never cared to, so I got to watch an "event movie" without having any prior attachments to or knowledge of the universe, the characters, or the conflicts that drove the narrative. What I saw was a poorly directed, lazily conceived, and bloated pile of idiomatic, visual, and narrative clichés.

So, typical contemporary Hollywood fare, then.

Lovey provided me with a running, play-by-play commentary on the tapestry of corny Jesus allegories that were woven through the threadbare plot. One of the upshots of dating a Catholic is that she knows far, far more about Chrisatianity than I do. Of course, I've got dinosaurs and geology covered, so I guess we're even.

Kinda.

Not really.

Never mind.

As far as "Kong" goes, you could take my critique of "Narnia", ignore the Christian angle (kinda), replace the word "Narnia" with "Kong", and bingo: you've got an appropriate set of complaints for another movie. Of course, "Kong" came to us with a whole new set of narrative and visual problems, but I don't want to waste any more time discussing with anyone. Just go see it if you're curious to find out how to waste over 207,000,000 perfectly good American dollars.

Detailing the faults of this oversized pile of shit has already become tedious, but I still enjoy pointing out that the dinosaurs looked absolutely terrible. For God's sake, all you have to do is go on-line or open up a contemporary dinosaur book to find a perfectly adequate set of visual references, but oh no! Evidently, they decided to just wing it. All I can say is, if you're not going to work on the plot, dialogue, acting, etc., then you could, at the very least, get the damned dinosaurs to look right. The Allosaurs (I'm assuming they were Allosaurs...) looked like they had Down Syndrome! Corky the Allosaur...?

I just talked with a good friend of mine before I wrote this entry. We were discussing movies, TV, and the general sense that we're being intellectually swamped by the "tyranny of imagery" in modern culture. I'm inclined agree with him, despite the fact that I'm damned and determined to make a set of movies that are set in a visually stimulating and image-dependent milieu -- namely, Big Science Fiction. Of course, all of my work in creating this universe won't mean squat if the story and the dialogue stinks. As far as Hollywood movies are concerned, writing has taken a backseat to special effects and what passes for "editing" in the post-MTV universe.

There's also a terrible lack of vision among these hack directors that dominate the industry. Film is a visual medium (really?!), so it stands to reason that the visualization of a film should be approached with an eye toward serving the narrative. Guys like Lean, Hitchcock, Bergman, Welles, and Renoir understood that the camera angles, camera movement, the framing of a shot, fades, transitions, and editing should be communicative above all else. Nowadays, it's all style over substance
-- the triumph of artless, pseudo-intellectual mediocrity over intelligently made works of art.

But, with a great director, style is substance! In "Lawrence of Arabia", David Lean didn't choose to cut from Peter O'Toole blowing-out the match to a shot of the sun rising over the desert because it was "cool." That cut serves the narrative by getting Lawrence (and the audience) underway on his journey while informing the audience of a change within Lawrence himself. It's an incredibly communicative bit of filmmaking that relies solely upon a meaningful continuum of imagery. The same can be said for the "bone-to-spaceship" shot in "2001". There's no useless verbal exposition or tedious use of montage. Kubrick takes you from the paleolothic to the space age in one elegantly conceived cut. He conveys the evolution of man's technological sophistication without hammering you over the head with some God-awful, superfluous, expository nonsense. The narrative continuity is preserved despite the huge leap in time and it's a visually arresting -- hell, even iconic -- set of images.

That's filmmaking, my fine friends.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Many men are missin' much...


I'm hiding out from a paper at the moment, so I can't stop-and-chat for long. But, considering that The Chimperor is still making lame excuses for the Hallibur--...er, Iraq War, I thought we might take a peek at just how much these red-state jackasses acutally "support the troops."

Here's a graphic showing U.S. fatalities by city in BushCo's little oil war:



http://icasualties.org/oif/US_CITY.aspx


My... Isn't that interesting? Why, it looks as if it's mostly Godless, queer-lovin', pinko, blue-state cultural elitists who are paying for Bush's imperial fantasies with their lives.

Here's something else that might interest you whining, right-wing, ribbon-junkie assholes:

States Receiving Most in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

01. D.C. ($6.17)
02. North Dakota ($2.03)
03. New Mexico ($1.89)
04. Mississippi ($1.84)
05. Alaska ($1.82)
06. West Virginia ($1.74)
07. Montana ($1.64)
08. Alabama ($1.61)
09. South Dakota ($1.59)
10. Arkansas ($1.53)


Would you look at all that red? Isn't that interesting? Wait! There's more!

States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

01. New Jersey ($0.62)
02. Connecticut ($0.64)
03. New Hampshire ($0.68)
04. Nevada ($0.73)
05. Illinois ($0.77)
06. Minnesota ($0.77)
07. Colorado ($0.79)
08. Massachusetts ($0.79)
09. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2004/09/red_states_feed.html


Très éclairant, n'est-ce pas?

Fuck you too, George.


Indeed...


Monday, December 12, 2005

Why is the last mile the hardest mile?

Nothin' big here. Just a really nice winter sunset that could have been a whole lot nicer somewhere out in the middle of the Mojave Desert.




The ranting, raving, and complaining will continue Thursday night. Sweet, beautiful Thursday night... Right now, I'm trying my damnedest to kill a class that's been sucking up my time since August. To vanquish my overwhelmingly boring foe, I need to finish a 1,500-to-1,700-word paper about some damned database. Isn't that exciting? Writing a seven-page paper about something that could be adequately described in a couple of paragraphs. Or, you could just skip the paper and go to the company's website. Let them tell you about it. Cut out the middle-man. Just cut me right on out of this shit.

I'd rather be watching a movie... Even a bad movie (like, "Battlefield Earth" bad..."Gigli" bad) is better than slogging through this shit...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Welcome to the Machine

Last November, I was sitting around my apartment one day with nothing to do. I was home from work with the flu, totally bored out of my gourd, when I decided that all I wanted to do was watch a movie. Nothing heavy, y'know -- trying to deal with somebody like Bergman when you feel like shit is a bad idea -- but something more fulfilling than the jerkwad "X-treme" action flicks, re-heated remakes, Dullsville biopics, and stale comedies that Hollywood has been barfing-out for the past dozen-or-so years. I wanted something imaginative; something that would suck me in and take my mind off of my shabby, snot-filled life for an hour-and-a-half.

I didn't have any movies that looked appetizing, so I took a geyser-hot shower, got dressed, slammed a shot of NyQuil (the greener-than-hell "spruce-whiskey" kind) and a V-8 chaser, grabbed some Kleenex, and made my way into town to look for a good sick-day movie.

Now, I had long ago decided that a certain director named George wasn't going to bilk me for any more cash -- I had given that chinless, pompadoured fool plenty of dough (not to mention a good five years of my childhood), so the recently-re-re-re-released "Star Wars" movies would have to wait for some other sucker with money to burn. Nope, I was going to do myself a favor and pick-up something that wasn't the cinematic equivalent of a three-day-old Happy Meal.

So, of course, I kicked myself like a circus mule when I came to the realization that I had returned home from my noble mission with a copy of the damned "Star Wars" DVDs. I must have grabbed them in a NyQuil- and fever-induced haze. I was thinking "Truffaut", but I was under the influence of the 'Quil (the other Green Fairy) and grabbed "Star Wars" in spite of myself! Yeah, that's it... So, when I got home, I set the DVDs on the kitchen counter and went right back to bed. I was pissed at my weakness in the face of George Lucas' awesome marketing juggernaut. I drifted off to sleep still chasing the NyQuil dragon, but my buzz was dulled by the realization that I had once again been seduced by the Flanneled One's re-heated, pseudo-mythological, dorkwad smorgasbord.

I woke up the next day feeling a little better. I creaked out of bed and shuffled into the kitchen to slug down a heroic dose of orange juice only to find the goofy, Kabukitronic mug of Darth Vader leering at me from behind the toaster. Damn, I really did buy the fuckin' thing! Oh well. I was sick; I wasn't thinking clearly when I made the purchase. Yeah, like you've never done anything stupid while under the influence of a psychotropic substance.

Anyway, I whipped-up some eggs, fired-up some coffee, and decided that I would have a little Tatooine with my breakfast. I popped the "Star Wars" DVD into the player and...I couldn't believe it. It was better than I remembered. Well, better looking, at least -- the print has been retouched more loving care than a Playboy centerfold shot. Too bad you can't retouch the dialog and the actor's performances... Anyway, anyway… I made it to the scene where Luke is trying to find R2-D2 with an inexplicably high-tech pair of binoculars when I decided to pause the movie. I couldn’t figure out why I thought it looked so...fresh. All of the sudden, after seeing “Star Wars” about 13,764 times, that scene looked absolutely great. Fantastic, even. It looked like a "real" reality, in spite of all unreasonable nonsense like ambiguously gay robots, floating jet-cars, and a race of violence-prone natives that "talk" by grunting like Rush Limbaugh gnawing on a pork loin, it actually works!

After pausing to re-evaluate what I had just "seen again for the first time", I finished the movie, only to realize that the rest of "Star Wars" -- excepting the Death Star battle -- drags like a beached walrus on 'ludes once Han and the boys split for Alderaan. Still, I was jazzed. I followed-up "Star Wars" with the infinitely superior "The Empire Strikes Back", watched it "again for the first time" too, and loved everything about it...except Luke Skywalker and Yoda. When the film cuts to Dagobah, all the fun stops and is replaced with a load of turgid, pseudo-mythological bullshit and hollow faux-Zen nonsense. After slogging through the dank swamps of Dagobah (couldn't have picked a better setting for Yoda), it finally dawned on me that the real hero of "Empire" is Han Solo. He's the best part of the movie. He's the best-written character out of the whole damned series
(Leia gets the silver medal). The bickering between Han and Leia could almost have come straight out of a Howard Hawks screwball comedy -- the dull-as-Wonderbread Luke Skywalker storyline seems like it belongs to a different movie altogether. I finally cracked it! I finally figured out what makes "Empire" the best "Star Wars" movie and -- surprise! -- it doesn't have jack-shit to do with anybody named "Skywalker" or "Lucas". Hmmm...

I spent the next day back at work looking up the "prehistory" of Star Wars. I wanted to know how a goofball like Lucas managed to come up with all of those fantastic names -- "Tatooine", "Alderaan", "Han Solo", and so on. I wanted to know who he ripped off -- outside of Akira Kurosawa, John Ford, and Buck/Flash Rogers/Gordon -- when he was writing the first movie. After holding my breath through as much of the early drafts of "Star Wars" as I could take and looking into most, if not all, of Lucas's influences, I began to realize that George's Empire really needs to just go the hell away. We all know that Lucas ain't going away on his own; somebody needs to shove him out of the way. Somebody needs to beat "Star Wars". So, I decided to see if I could come up with my own Big Space Movie. I was just curious to see if I could do it. Well...

What began as a thought exercise ballooned into a full-blown idea within a month. After a couple more months of tinkering and plotting, I had reached the point where tossing my Big Movie Idea out the window and getting on with my life would have been an incredible waste of time. Once the summer of 2005 rolled around, I was beginning to get weird ideas like "go to film school" and "maybe being a filmmaker is the line of work that I've been looking for." After spending well over six months thinking about nothing but movies, I began to realize that I might actually be on to something with my cinematic pipe-dreams. I began to think about other types of films that I would like to make -- films that don't have a damned thing to do with space and fantasy worlds. I want to make something as good as "His Girl Friday" and "Annie Hall" as well as a Big Space Movie. So, with a bit of encouragement from a trusted friend, I started thinking about making a little movie on my own and maybe, just maybe...actually going to film school.

Oh boy! I can't wait to drop that bomb right on top of Christmas dinner!

"You want to what?! Since when?! Pull your head out of your ass and pass the stuffing."

I've been working on my Big Movie Idea for a little over a year now. I think it could be bigger than Sinatra, but that confidence isn't arrogance or pure folly on my part -- it's more "parental" than that. "Parental" in the sense that everybody wants to believe that this thing you've nurtured for so long is someday going to grow up and be President, eradicate some incurable disease, go to the moon, win the Nobel Prize, and so on.

Now, why do I think my Big Movie Idea could someday grow up and be somebody? I'm not sure. It's some sort of intuition, I guess. Well, intuition and the fact that the "competition" is a fucking joke. For the last few years, it seems as if Hollywood has been totally incapable of producing anything better than “just all right" movies. They've been in a slump for the last 15 years and there appears to be no end in sight. Of course, when business ain't booming, the CEOs and PR swine spew out a litany of reasons as to why profits keep getting slimmer every year: ticket prices are too high; screens are too small; there's too much pre-show advertising; prices at the concession stand are ridiculously high; video games and home-entertainment systems are stealing Hollywood's thunder; and my favorite excuse: the industry is experiencing a "talent drought."

So, a "talent drought"...followed by a plague of celluloid-eating locusts and an industry-wide epidemic of "Dutch Film Disease", right? Excuses, excuses, excuses...

No, what's wrong with Hollywood is the fact that lawyers, MBAs, and marketing vermin -- not filmmakers -- have been running the studios since the 1970s. What's wrong is the fact that the CEOs and related turds who dominate the uppermost levels of the industry are more interested in generating profit than art.

Now, before you get started, let me say that a.) No, I don't think all Hollywood films are shit and b.) I understand that movies are a business, and businesses exist to make money. Fine. That's the way it is in any industry. I accept that. But, what is unacceptable is the fact that these clowns who run the big studios are so eager to blame everybody but themselves for their failings. Kinda reminds me of a certain president, come to think of it...

My point is that you can't blame the filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors for the sorry state of the American movie industry. Chances are, they're doing the best they can while the talentless vermin who sign the checks tell the artists how to make their movies "better"...or else. Sure, there are way too many hacks working in the creative side of the industry. Sure, too many talented people give up on making decent films after being seduced by more cash, more points, and the Dark Side. But don't try to tell me that there isn't any talent out there. Bull. Shit. The talent is out there, but they don't "know somebody" who can grease the wheels and open doors for them. The lucky ones, at best, "know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody else who used to be a PA for Steven Soderbergh back in 1999." Just because "the talent" doesn't happen to know the right people doesn't mean that they're not out there, screenplays in-hand, ready to show these soft, brown-noser industry hacks how to make a good movie that -- gasp! -- might actually be artistically valid and profitable. Oh, Heavens!

The only "talent drought" that's responsible for the sorry state of the movie industry is the one at the top of the corporate food-chain. The same class of vermin who also happen to be killing the music industry. You sick of Jessica/Ashlee yet? Guess who you have to thank. Probably the same bastards who control the studios. The entire system is designed to crank-out cross-marketed shit faster than a sick goose. How lovely.

Now, don't get me wrong: I'm not completely anti-capitalist. I like my consumer crap just as much as the next American. Sure, it may be a different kind of crap; it may be "cooler" crap, but its all part of the same game. All I'm saying is that, when we allow CEOs and marketing swine to dictate our tastes and opinions, our cultural (and public) institutions suffer. You want better movies, then you're gonna have to take a chance -- back away from the well-established brands (comic books, video games, sitcoms, Oprah's book club, Steven Spielberg...) and let a new group of hungry artists bring some desperately-needed freshness and talent to the turgid Dagobah of modern Hollywood.

End of rant.

Stay tuned for "Batman Christ: 007 and the Dukes of Hazzard Vs. the Attack of the Phantom Fantastic Four X-Men Menace: Episode II: Jurassic Jones Vs. Super Aqua-Spawn Hellboy-Man and the Justice League of da Vinci's Mummy Code of Doom"!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

We come from the land of the ice and snow...


We're finally getting our first legitimate snow of the year! The meteorologists are predicting that we're gonna get six-to-seven inches of wintry goodness by the time this storm passes. I think I'm gonna have to build me a snowman this year -- I haven't Frankensteined any Schneemänner since I was a youngin'.

Calvin's got the right idea:









Man, I miss "Calvin and Hobbes". "Calvin", "Bloom County", and "The Far Side" were essential breakfast-table reading back in the day. It's amazing how quality art disappears, but the cock-a-roaches will still be reading crap like "Garfield" and "Mallard Fillmore" long after this species has bowed-out of life's rich pageant.

So, the battle over the life of "Tookie" Williams continues in Herr Schwarzenegger's "Kahl-eee-fohn-ya." I don't know about you, but I wouldn't count on a guy who is best known for playing a character called the "Terminator" to commute Williams' death sentence. It's amazing: "Tookie" killed four people almost three decades ago and these right-wing ghouls want him to swing, but an ignorant
Überhonky who has the blood of tens of thousands of people all over his otherwise lily-white hands somehow isn't a killer despite the well-documented fact that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was predicated on a pack of lies.

...And these right-wing pro-death/pro-life (I'm still trying to figure that one out) lunatics claim that they're interested in "justice."

All I want for Christmas is a new prez'nit.

Speaking of "Kahl-eee-fohn-ya", I don't get why these right-wing morons hate the place so much. Between Ronald Reagan, Bruce Willis, John Wayne, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Milius, Mel Gibson, and good ol' Dick Nixon, you would think these right-wing tools would just love Cali!

?!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oh! What It Seemed to Be

Merry Fitzmas, y'all!



All the "political capital" in the world don't mean squat when you're popularity is fading faster than a pair of cheap jeans, does it Georgie Boy? I guess we can expect you and your cabal of ghouls to "catapult the propaganda" to Stalin-esque heights now that a majority of the country is hip to the fact that you're a crook and a bastard. Of course, these results are taken from a CNN "insta-poll", so I wouldn't exactly jump for joy just yet. Still, as a rough barometer of public opinion, these results are encouraging. Keep it up, George! Darth Cheney's approval rating is bottoming out in the teens. You gotta wonder who comprises this stubborn 19% that still supports this half-dead vampire-cyborg? Hmmm...


Meanwhile...




...it looks as if a new species of carnivorous mammal has turned up in Borneo! I always like to hear about new species, but a new mammal is extra-nice. Researchers are unsure as to the new critter's precise taxonomic affiliation. Although it seems to share some morphological characteristics with lemurs (evolutionary predecessors of monkeys and apes), the range of Lemuridae is naturally restricted to Madagascar. It's more likely that this animal represents a new species belonging to the family Viverridae -- a sub-group of Carnivora that includes fossas, genets, linsangs, and civets.


Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox)

The WWF is planning to capture a specimen of the new critter in order to study and describe the animal. Hopefully, the team of WWF scientists will be able to learn enough about this "new" animal in time to protect it from possible extinction. Thankfully, this little varmint was caught before it disappeared forever. Makes you wonder how many species we've missed before logging, farming, and hunting drove them to extinction.

One Way or Another...

"I disagree with those who believe we should pull out, and I disagree with those who believe we should stay without end." -- Hillary Clinton

Well, uh...OK.

I'm getting really, really tired of this "kinda-sorta" shit from our "leaders" in the Democratic Party. Take a damned stand, Hillary!

"Clinton has agreed to co-sponsor a bill by Republican Utah Sen. Bob Bennett that would make it illegal for anyone to intimidate any other person by burning the flag, to burn someone else's flag or to desecrate the flag on federal property. At the same time, however, Clinton continues to oppose efforts to amend the Constitution to prohibit flag burning. Without such an amendment, it's not at all clear that Bennett's proposal would survive the inevitable trip to the Supreme Court." (Taken from Salon's "War Room")

Never mind...

Judgement, Rage, Retribution, and Thyme

Some right-wing wanker who runs a blog called "Six Meat Buffet" ("where the mentally obese belly up to the buffet of truth") is trying to prove that Neocon swine and theocrat drones aren't completely L7 by listing ten rock songs "conservatives can love."

So, conservatives listen to something besides CCM, Creed, Lee Greenwood, jingoistic "hot country", and John Ashcroft?

I'm shocked. No, really. I guess this list is supposed to let us "elitist lefties" know that these big, bad, Bush-sniffin' losers are "cooler" than we thought.

Here's Mr. Six Meat's list:

The Kinks - "Catch Me Now I'm Falling"
The Kinks - "Young Conservatives"
Cracker - "Get off This"
The Eagles - "Get Over It"
Neil Young - "Let’s Roll"
Camper Van Beethoven - "Might Makes Right"
Sammy Hagar - "VOA"
The Circle Jerks - "When the Shit Hits the Fan"
The Beatles - "Taxman"
The Beatles - "Revolution #1"

Where to begin...?

First of all, The Kinks and The Beatles don't belong anywhere near a list of supposedly "conservative" rock songs. Ray Davies is one of rock's great cynics, so it's a pretty good bet that a Kinks song about young conservatives isn't going to be a fawning paean to jocko-homo, rich-boy frat geeks."Catch Me Now I'm Falling" is a satirical look at the low state of the American economy in the late '70s. The lyrics are a sneaky "piss off" to a big, rich America that was lookin' for a little sympathy when we had none to give in return. Sehr Konzervativ, ja?

Naturally, "Taxman" made the list because paying taxes is the bane of every spoiled-rotten, "gimme that it's MINE!" Republican pig. Oh sure, they'll call the cops if somebody steals any of their stuff; they'll call the fire department if their tract-home "starter mansion" goes up in flames; they'll bitch about how somebody needs to fix all the potholes while they make 'em bigger by driving around in their "all-terrain" behemoth-mobile SUVs, but that's beside the point. These greedy little bastards don't want to actually have to pay for any of these services. Oh, heavens no! They're gonna need all the cash they can get their sanitized hands on if they wanna keep running to stand still on the consumer-drone treadmill!

Now that I think about it, I might actually concede "Taxman" to die Republikanische Schweinekinder. That's all right -- we've still got "Piggies". No big loss. But, "Revolution #1"?! While you're misappropriating "Revolution #1", why not go ahead and stick "Fortunate Son" and "Working Class Hero" into your little right-wing hit parade?

As far as the Camper/Cracker songs are concerned, Mr. Six Meat couldn't be further off the mark. He goes out of his way to inform us that he "understands irony", but I have my doubts considering that he thinks "Might Makes Right" (from "New Roman Times") is a conservative song! Why don't you take a gander at the lyric sheet sometime, Meathead?

...And Republicans wonder why we think they're a bunch of hick cretins.

It's amazing how these dolts only acknowledge the title of a song and don't pay any attention to the lyrics. They did the same thing to "Born in the U.S.A." back in the '80s -- they didn't bother listening to any part of the song other than the chorus. "Born in the U.S.A." is about as anti-Republican as a top-40 song gets. Anybody with two neurons to rub together knows that Springsteen isn't a damned Republican. Get a clue, schmucks.

Six Meat seems to be lumping Cracker's "Get off This" in with the lame-stain, over-the-hill Boomer whining of "Get Over It". Wrongo, buckaroo! "Get off This" was David Lowrey's snarky way of getting back at all the hipster assholes who ditched him after he "sold-out" and formed Cracker from the remains of CVB. What this song has to do with a bunch of Republican mouth-breathers is far beyond me.

That brings us to the inclusion of "Let's Roll" -- a prime example of the frustratingly mercurial political beliefs of Neil Young. Here's a guy who can go from the pro-Reagan nonsense of "American Stars 'N Bars" to the hippie-dippy, eco-utopian nonsense of "Greendale" without so much as a passing explanation as to just what the hell it is that he actually believes. "Shakey" has been a little inconsistent throughout the years, but I think it's pretty clear to any astute listener that he's not exactly a cheerleader for PNAC. Thankfully, the righteous leftie salvo of "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" not only mitigates the creaky bathos of "Let's Roll", but completely out-rocks it to boot.

OK, so what's left? The Eagles? Lite-rock/country/schmaltz/disco/frat-rock? Next...

Sammy Hagar, huh? Impressive. He's almost right up there with the Nuge and Alice Cooper in the right-wing has-been Hall of Fame. Hagar is sometimes referred to as the "Red Rocker", so you might want to double check with the right-wing brain-trust and find out if Sammy Hagar is a godless commie moonbat.


The Red Menace

Something tells me that he isn't, but you might want to double-check. Just to be on the safe side.

That leaves us with the Circle Jerks. Does anybody still care about these clowns? C'mon, Six Meat! If you're looking for a "conservative punk", you could have at least had the brains to nominate Johnny Ramone. Of course, Joey was a big-time liberal, so you might say the Ramones were "fair and balanced." Johnny was the dumb-shit guitar player and Joey wrote all the lyrics. Voila!

Remember: We've got Bob Dylan. You've got...who? Charlie Daniels?

Nice try, Six Meat.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Someone tell me why I do the things that I don't wanna do.

It's 12:22 on a cold, cold Sunday night here in south-central Indiana.

There's nothing better on a cold Sunday night than to unwind with yer special someone and watch a good movie. I picked up a couple of hum-dingers over the weekend ("Frau im Mond" and "The Apartment") and they've been calling to me ever since I brought 'em home.

But, noooo...

Instead of settling in for an evening
spent watching movies and drinking piping-hot Earl Grey with my goil, I spent three hours on some pointless damned project for one of my MIS classes. What did I accomplish in that precious three-hour chunk of time? Something just shy of a little bit more than nothing. "Jack-shit", if you like.

I was supposed to make a referential database in 4D, but the guy who gave us the assignment failed to mention that 4D is "user-friendly" in the same way that a pack of starving jackals is "kid-friendly." I'm sure I blew the project. Almost absolutely sure of it. It was a pretty grim way to spend a frigid Sunday night.

Now I know what those goofy man-apes felt like when that damned monolith showed up in their front yard...

This MIS program doesn't jibe with what I thought a Master's degree program would entail. There's no thought required to get through this crap -- only persistence and a high tolerance for being bored to the brink of insanity for hours on end.

I chose this over getting a Master's degree in geology? Better yet: I chose this over film school? Well, yeah -- the MIS program was the "practical" choice. You see, with this degree, I might someday get one of those "job" things I keep hearing about.

So, getting into the MIS program was a cheap and unabashedly cynical decision. Tempted by the dark side, I was...

I hit the chicken switch and chose to be bored stiff for the next year-and-a-half instead of getting my butt in gear and heading out to L.A. to get chewed up by the Machine. What the hell was I thinking? I'd rather be a runner for a decade than a code-monkey for a week, but I signed-up for a degree in terminal boredom anyway. Damnit.

Better get crackin' on that movie idea again...

Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody...

Hi. This is just a test run, so I hope you didn't come here looking for anything profound or illuminating. This is my first foray in to the labyrinthine wilderness of the "blogosphere", so be gentle.

Before I go any further, let me address the following question:

"This ain't gonna be another "political blog", is it?"


Well, in a way...yes. Kinda. But, not all the way! Let's saaaay...30-40% of this thing is reserved for politics and the remaining 60-70% is kinda like recess, only without the skinned knees and those big maroon playground balls. So, y'know...movies, music, books, blah, blah, blah.


I guess it's only fair to warn you about the political content of this blog before I start spouting off about how this country is slowly being flushed down the crapper by a vile clutch of Neoconazi, war-pig, tycoon hell-spawn and their mouth-breathing, knuckle-walking legions of theocrat/Dominionist, "prosperity Gospel-preachin'", pod-people supporters.


Uh, I guess I just showed you my hand, didn't I? So much for surprises...


Oh, and science. Lotsa science. Let's say about 15-20% of the content on this blog will have something to do with science. Some weeks it might be higher than the proportion I just quoted you, but that all depends upon what's shakin' in the wide, wide world of science at the time.


There will also be the occasional sports-related entry, but don't hold your breath. At best, I'm a fan of IU basketball and the Cubs. But, seeing as how either team isn't exactly taking the world by storm, odds are I won't be bombarding you with up-to-the-minute sports info anytime soon. "The Sporting News", this ain't. Still, IU is having a pretty good season (relatively speaking), so there's always hope for the Hoosiers. The Cubs, on the other hand...


"Next year, man! Next year's our year! I can feel it!"


Damn you, Dusty Baker! Damn you straight to hell!


Enough qualifying. I'm going to bed. See ya later.


--N