This weekend, the 4,000th U.S. soldier was killed in the Iraq war. How did the major US. media cover it? Yesterday, on CNN, the first I caught it was right before break, when the anchor intoned “The U.S. death toll in Iraq has now hit 4,000. CNN has confirmed. We’ll have more.. right after this.” Commercial.
News Dir. - On tap - Election, Barack / Wright, Crybaby Hillary, Flooding - Midwest, Where Have the Bees Gone? Britney in TV Show, Newfangled Electric Car, 225th Anniversary of American Cheese. Features?
Features Ed. - Um, let’s see, Fencing: Neighbors Without Borders; Mortgage CRISIS!!!!!!!1! Bored regular people hiring pretend paparazzo; Britney in TV Show.
News Dir. - Wait. News already has Britney. What’s plan B?
Features Ed. - 2:30 on Perez Hilton.
News Dir. - I likey. Politics?
Politics - I got nothin’.
News Dir. - Really? Are you sure?
Politics - Oh yeah. McCain in Iraq.
News Dir. - Aaaaaaaand…
Politics - Um, Nader?
News Dir - Good. Anyone else? Anyone?
News Intern - Um, we might hit 4,000 U.S. soldier deaths in Iraq.
News Dir. - Oh yeah? When?
News Intern - Probably Saturday or Sunday.
News Dir. - This fucking Saturday or Sunday? Fuck that - weekend crew will handle. Send them an email, okay? Let’s go back to work - get out early today for Easter!
Arthur C. Clarke, sci-fi giant, passed away at the age of 90. He lived past 2001, and almost made it to 2010. This nifty little Flash site is quite a tribute (and thorough analysis) of 2001, the movie that still manages to confound many of us today. It’s worth a re-watch, at least.
America's economy, in the shitter - and they want you to flush
This is a sad day for America. At least, the America with money. For those of us without money, we’re like, “Meh? Meh.” The collapse of Bear Stearns is just the latest humiliation for the once proud and might American economy.
Now I am by no means an economist. I don’t read The Economist. Nor am I fucking an economist, with or without my ex-wife. (Hot!) But, I’m kind of getting the sense that this was all a big illusion, aren’t you? The mortgage mess, the collapse of huge banks, the skyrocketing price of gasoline, the Euro trouncing the dollar, the price of coffee in Italy (like six American bucks a cup or something like that? I’ll ask my vacationing relatives again, but it was totes ridic to try and buy a cappuccino in Venice they told me, DAYUM!), and so on and so forth. Americans have less money, or fewer of their possessions are worth shit, and, what? What is to prevent Canada, where their dollar is basically now on par with ours after decades of jokes about the exchange rate in North America - what is to prevent them from invading our country with those damned Mounties and take over all of our banks, chain stores and wholesale liquor outlets? Customs agents?
The America that we knew is slip-sliding down the side of a mountain whose slope is actually perpendicular to the valley floor on which there is a giant set of rusted spikes. We have no crampons or rappels with which to stop the fall and there are millions or us anyway and not enough crampons! (Heh, he said crampons.) Crampons that we can afford, anyway.
Who is trying to stop this? Benjamin Bernanke and his rate cut Band-Aids? “Oh, is that a hemmorhage you’re having, America? Here’s a quarter-point rate cut. Want a few more? There, did that stop the bleeding? Why the fuck are you bleeding anyway?”
CEOs who smoke dope and play cards all day long? Hedge funds? Publicists? The Wall Street Fucking Journal? I don’t think so. You can look toward Wall Street and the Fed all you want but know this, American consumer: THESE ARE THE SAME GUYS WHO HAVE BEEN SCREWING YOU, YOUR WIFE AND YOUR HOUSEBOY FOR AGES. They really do not give two little pisses how you and your family’s $58.19 savings account and $2,500 mortgage are doing. That’s why even in the midst of all of this, you are still receiving pre-approved credit card offers in the mail! You! You who are about to file for bankruptcy, for God’s sake!!!
In short: head into that bomb shelter your parents built in the 50’s during the Cuban Missile Crisis and lock yourself in. Might as well - Bear Stearns is about to collapse on your standard of living, anyway.
I went to the bathroom this morning and here was all this SUNLIGHT pouring in. It’s already fucking March, for chrissake! 2008 is 1/6th over! The days are getting longer, which is awesome, because I cannot wait to seed my fucking lawn. There, I said it.
To paraphrase this French Oscar-winning actress, the World Trade Center was demolished because the cost of renovating them - namely, the “cabling” - would have been cost-prohibitive. Aaah, genius. I guess this French chick doesn’t watch any home improvement shows on HGTV, or TLC, or whatever, because instead of working with what she’s got, she thinks it’s better to TEAR DOWN THE WHOLE GODDAMN HOUSE AND START OVER. Why renovate when you can redux, right Marion? Mairde. The French don’t WATCH TV!
Also, she doesn’t think we landed on the moon. I think the French, on a whole, are just jealous because they, um, fell so hard for the Nazis? And manufactured something called the Peugeot. “But what about their contributions to philosophy, culture, democratic principles etc.?” you ask. Well, Frenchies, Madame Cotillard just done fucked it up for all of you. So, until she shuts the fuck up, you guys should shut the fuck up. Merci!
So, the discussion of the week - this past week, actually - has been whether the media has played favorites in its coverage of Clinton vs Obama.
Obama has, by many accounts, been anointed a kind of political Messiah, not just in terms of the Democratic party, but on the whole of the body politic. Reports of people fainting at rallies, young people running around screaming and whispering and talking about how Barack will change the way things get done in Washington is enough to just make you puke your fucking guts out. Obama stands for everything that the Political Establishment is not - an outside the Beltway thinker and doer of great things, who will lead our nation to prominence once again.
I call bullshit on this. With all due respect to the former Illinois State Senator and TWO-YEAR U.S. Senator, he doesn’t have nearly enough of a resume to justify taking the cente seat in the White House. Maybe after he’s got a little more experience under his belt, and truly gets to learn the ins and outs of D.C. politics, I will trust this guy with my vote.
Having said that - look at the coverage he’s gotten. He is obviously more comfortable giving speeches in front of large crowds. The podium is really there as a prop, perhaps something to rest his note cards and glass of water on. Once he starts speaking, he’s floating around the stage and giving the uplifting “change” talk, and who the hell wouldn’t buy into it? “Even in the conversations we have as colleagues, there is a sense of trying especially hard not to drink the Kool-Aid,” Lee Cowan of NBC News told the New York Times. “It’s so rapturous, everything around him. All these huge rallies.”
It does not bode well for the rest of the media if a network news guy is worried about drinking the Kool-Aid.
"Saturday Night Live", for all its faults, is good at one thing - picking up on the political and pop culture pulse of America, at the very least in its ‘Weekend Update" sketch. That’s why the sketch in question - where, during a debate, each and every member of the journalist panel is depicted as fawning over Obama - has hit a nerve with reporters and producers. Some of them are nothing more than vacuous, empty shells of people who like to look good on TV. But, for the most part, they take umbrage at any suggestion of subjectivity in their reporting. Normally, they would just swat aside charges of bias in their pages or on their air. his time, though, it’s different. Because perhaps, it’s a little bit true.
The Clinton campaign has smartly seized on this issue because, quite frankly, they don’t got nothing else. It’s like the knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, who has all of his arms and legs hacked off by King Arthur and yet he continues to challenge Arthur. The Clinton camp has found itself in this position since, well, Super Tuesday. And now comes “SNL” to sew one of those appendages back on, and Clinton’s minions are coming out swinging.
It h elps that, somewhat ironically, the media is now in their corner, having been stung by the charges of Obamavoritis. (Like that, Obamaniacs?) Now, every story filed will undergo further scrutiny by editors, who do not want to be seen as anything but objective. I predict that, in the next week, we will hear reporters starting to complain that their stories are being combed through and heavily edited to the point where the coverage will seem to favor Hillary.
And where’s McCain in all of this? Despite a fanatical right-wing talk show host, Bill Cunningham, doing everything he could to collapse the McCain campaign into a heap of nervous with a five-minute stump speech intro, there’s been virtually no bad press for the GOP candidate in the mainstream media. Oh yeah, there’s that small matter of him being born in Panama and not in the 50 United States too - but again, nary a peep. I think that the “SNL” effect is in play here, since there isn’t really a fight on the GOP side anymore: reporters covering McCain don’t have to worry about bias, unless of course they uncover any more evidence of “romantic” interludes with female lobbyists, as the New York Times thinks they once did.
Well, bra-fucking-vo to law enforcement in California for finally stepping up and taking action against these fucking leaches. Freedom of the press is one thing; it’s another thing entirely to endanger pedestrians and motorists trying to make their way around scrums of scum who are there simply to make life as miserable as possible for celebrities, just so they can make a buck. If the cops keep this up, we just might get some of these lensers to behave and act according to decency guidelines of some sort - and then, we can go back to just hating celebrities!
If you saw “Good Morning America” today, you would’ve seen a graphic over Diane Sawyer’s shoulder: “OBAMENTUM.” Referring to the Illinois Senator’s 10th straight primary victory over Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin and Hawaii.
Now the question: WHY IS IT OKAY TO MAKE UP STUPID NEW WORDS USING BARACK’S NAME?
I understand the need to be clever, witty, creative. But folks, this isn’t any of those things. It’s plain stupid and annoying. Obama is his last name. It’s not a verb, not an adjective, nothing but a surname. I can picture it now - when he wins - and it’s looking more nd more like he will win - this on-screen graphic:
It’ll be an abomination, guaranteed.
~ * ~
Watching Children of Men with Clive Owen and a bunch of British actors I don’t know. (Julianne Moore plays an American who gets nixed in the first third of the film during a totally amazing tracking shot.) Anyway, go rent or buy it, or catch it on cable like I did - you won’t regret it. Like the guy who came up with “Obamentum.”
When this argument finally ends and Blu-Ray is the only format of high-def DVD on store shelves, we will look back on this period and asks ourselves, “What the FUCK were Toshiba and Sony thinking???!!!” Comes a little late, but the consumer wins after all. A little bit.
I’ve only really ever seen one Roy Scheider film, and that was 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Compared to the too-long, too-confusing 2001, 2010 was a great film. (Shut the fuck up, Kubricksters.) Watching the movie today, you’ll notice a few anachronisms (or, retro-anachronisms?): e.g. Scheider’s character, Dr. Heywood Floyd, working at the beach with an Apple IIC - hah! - and of course the biggie: in 2010, the U.S.S.R. still exists. But, whatever: the movie was made (and book it was based on, written) in the Cold War era, so we can forgive these hiccups.
It’s a great film. Many cool, sci-fi geek moments, like when Floyd realizes the Russian have found chlorophyll on Jupiter’s moon, Europa; or the exchanges between Helen Mirren’s Russian commander (“You have been drinking your whiskey from Kentucky!”) and Floyd, or the totally creepy scene where Keir Dullea’s Dave Bowman, who died in the first movie, makes a ghostly return. Scheider, in a magnificent and understated performance (with a great ensemble), make this film less about the future and more about the current state of humanity.)
He gave the public more great moments; this is the one I remember. R.I.P., Mr. Scheider.
So, I guess this ISN’T a wireless world after all. But at least we now know how to beat the cable company. And, when Brian Williams is fired by NBC, will he sink down to the seabed and disrupt our Internet service? It’s late, I’ll ask you to forgive the inebriated version of “Deep Thoughts.”
So he wants to run for President. No one has said it on the record, but come on, we all fucking know it. More accurately, about 5,000+ people know it, as I write this. I’m not signing this fucking thing. Not until that number hits like 2,000,000.
Did you ever hear anything bad about this guy? Probably not. There was all that kerfuffle about his and Michelle Williams moving into Brooklyn, the hullaballoo about them not being true New Yorkers, yadda-yadda. Conservatives who went to town on Brokeback Mountain didn’t have much mean to say about him or Jake Gyllenhall, and if they did it wasn’t anything that had much of a shelf life in the blogosphere, nor is it relevant now.
Heath seemed to be the boy actor who was in it to act, and not much more. Once in a while you might read about his sexual adventures in the gossip pages, but really, nothing that destroyed a promising career. Looking over his filmography, he started with small stuff beginning in the early 90’s, before graduating to the likes of The Patriot, A Knight’s Tale and Monster’s Ball. There was a flop, The Brothers Grimm, right before Brokeback came out. For the latter, all he did was earn an Oscar nomination. This guy was the real thing.
He was low-key, as celebs go. His full first name was Heathcliff, and who the hell remembers Heathcliff instead of Garfield? Garfield had the more successful comic strip, the live-action movie, and is now the subject of a popular Web spoof. Heathcliff… was just another newspaper cartoon strip.
Batman: The Dark Knight was set for release, with Ledger portraying the Joker. Now, that film is poised to sail to the top of the box office, not because Batman Begins was great, but because here is the tragic Heath Ledger, on screen one last time, giving us a glimpse at the great actor that might have been.