Thursday, July 30, 2009

Perfume Can't Do That, Sir

I would very much like to refute some bullshit for you this morning:

At first, fire officials suspected that carbon monoxide or some other toxic fumes had sickened almost 150 people at a Texas bank call center. It turned out that perfume was to blame.

MedStar ambulance spokeswoman Lara Kohl says 34 people were taken to hospitals, 12 by ambulance, after reporting dizziness and shortness of breath Wednesday at a Bank of America call center in Fort Worth. An additional 110 were treated at the scene.

Fort Worth fire Lt. Kent Worley said the incident started with two people complaining about dizziness after a co-worker sprayed perfume. Others reported being sick when an announcement was made that anyone with similar symptoms should exit the building.

Investigators do not know what type of perfume was sprayed.
Now, being a salesman and co-developer of some of the world's most effective riot control vehicle chemicals--the kind that actually do incapacitate and knock people down--allow me a moment to say what this really was--laziness.

All it took was for one sad sack to crumple to their knees, put the back of their hand on their forehead, and say, "oh, my stars...I do believe I am about to pass out..." and the entire facility decided, almost as one, to get on the bandwagon and get out of a day of work by pretending to be overcome by the "perfume."

There is a remote possibility--a remote one--that the perfume in question was nerve agent. It happens. Laboratories are sloppy places. The perfume company could have mixed a vial of perfume with nerve agent or some other incapacitating and noxious chemical. Chlorine, perhaps. But, I seriously doubt it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Polyamory Only Works When No One is Good Looking

Remember when being a swinger meant you were just a pervert?

I suppose that's harsh, but that was my first reaction when I was exposed to this story--everyone is plain looking. There are no "hotties" per se. If one of the women looked like Audrina Patridge or Megan Fox or Stormy Daniels, fine. This thing would explode within weeks and everyone would be on the cover of Crazed, Jealous Lovers Quarterly. Nothing is coveted more than a beautiful woman with an open mind about sex. Nothing.

You can see these things through the prism through which I see them, which is that of a survivor of the Summer of Love. I did not partake in any of the "counterculture" movement--I was born in 1944. I missed it. I was already in suits and a buzzcut and selling riot control vehicles when the hippies and their free love communes were sprouting up. I got called "narc" every day. I didn't mind. When I did see people using drugs, I did call the police and tell them. Rarely did I get a thank you from anyone for that.

If you want to be cute about it, there's an exclusionary aspect of this that simply looks ridiculous--I don't care how smart the people involved think they are. They cannot undo evolution, and humans? Humans are evolved the way we are for a reason, sir. Also, I think that, if these people could make it work, and I doubt this is more than a temporary thing, they would find themselves with empty, meaningless relationships and probably not much else:

Terisa Greenan and her boyfriend, Matt, are enjoying a rare day of Seattle sun, sharing a beet carpaccio on the patio of a local restaurant. Matt holds Terisa's hand, as his 6-year-old son squeezes in between the couple to give Terisa a kiss. His mother, Vera, looks over and smiles; she's there with her boyfriend, Larry. Suddenly it starts to rain, and the group must move inside. In the process, they rearrange themselves: Matt's hand touches Vera's leg. Terisa gives Larry a kiss. The child, seemingly unconcerned, puts his arms around his mother and digs into his meal.

Terisa and Matt and Vera and Larry—along with Scott, who's also at this dinner—are not swingers, per se; they aren't pursuing casual sex. Nor are they polygamists of the sort portrayed on HBO's Big Love; they aren't religious, and they don't have multiple wives. But they do believe in "ethical nonmonogamy," or engaging in loving, intimate relationships with more than one person—based upon the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. They are polyamorous, to use the term of art applied to multiple-partner families like theirs, and they wouldn't want to live any other way.


Terisa, 41, is at the center of this particular polyamorous cluster. A filmmaker and actress, she is well-spoken, slender and attractive, with dark, shoulder-length hair, porcelain skin—and a powerful need for attention. Twelve years ago, she started datingScott, a writer and classical-album merchant. A couple years later, Scott introduced her to Larry, a software developer at Microsoft, and the two quickly fell in love, with Scott's assent. The three have been living together for a decade now, but continue to date others casually on the side. Recently, Terisa decided to add Matt, a London transplant to Seattle, to the mix. Matt's wife, Vera, was OK with that; soon, she was dating Terisa's husband, Larry. If Scott starts feeling neglected, he can call the woman he's been dating casually on the side. Everyone in this group is heterosexual, and they insist they never sleep with more than one person at a time.

Where the problem lies is with the raising of children, not so much in the sex. Who cares about the sex? That's the easy part to sort out. Exposing a child to this is not a great idea. I am not talking about anything other than confusion. It is perfectly acceptable, in my mind, for a same-sex couple to display affection in front of a child. I don't see an issue there at all. When two people are in a relationship, it has a different connotation than "sleeping around" or "bed hopping." Same sex couples are more than capable of handling such things and children adapt accordingly. This? Eh, this is a little off in my mind. And, bear in mind, I'm an old man and I have my history of being closed minded about certain things to contend with. I'm trying to be open minded, but I shut down when the confusion of a child is involved. Oh, and please--before anyone laughs--I already know I'm a terrible parent. My daughter Miranda just walked in and reminded me of that, out of the blue and for no reason, and she has no idea what I'm writing.

The difficult part is the reconciliation of emotional relationships and trust. If you're already sleeping around with several different people, openly, your trust level within those relationships is set relatively low. This is where other slights, other betrayals become more significant. Lying in order to do x with person y is where it starts. Now figure in buying a house, moving to a different community, taking a better job, losing or making more money, changing a hairstyle--all innocuous things we can decide on our own or with a partner, but significantly more complicated with five or six very educated and learned people involved.

As soon as you intellectualize or rationalize something like this, the lying to one's self begins. Telling yourself it doesn't matter if your girlfriend sleeps with a man you know works for a while, but what happens when you decide, let's say, that you're not happy with the arrangement and you go looking for someone who isn't 100% open-minded about polyamory. Do you break it off if that new person who's thrown into the mix begs off? Do you pursue that person privately, figuring that's your secret and your secret alone?

Or are all things cool under the sun because it's nobody's business what you do?

Freedom from responsibility and accountability works when you're on your own--it doesn't work when you have children. If you haven't been there and done that, don't bother.

Celebrities could never get away with something like this. We order society in twos, and threes, fours and fives are plot devices and ratings grabbers. Imagine five or six gorgeous people doing this, openly and honestly. The modern media would have itself an orgy of self-righteousness and outrage.

To them, it's about the sex. What it's really about is anything but  the sex. Sorry, kids. It's society that is harshing your buzz, not me. We are a secretive, deviant species.  We are all covetous of the secrets that we think are ours and ours alone, and we have deviancy wired into us. Any state of mind that purports to normalize these things is an exercise in folly.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A New Nightmare for the Royal Family of Britain

Just when you thought that the reign of Queen Elizabeth was going to enter a quiet, golden period, this happens:
If his glamorous niece weren't expected to marry Britain's Prince William, Gary Goldsmith might just be another cocaine-snorting, tattooed, embarrassing uncle.

But when an undercover video last week showed Goldsmith, 49, cutting lines of cocaine in "La Maison de Bang Bang" -- the villa he owns on the Spanish isle of Ibiza -- his oh-so-unregal lifestyle became headlines -- and a scandal steeped in the crass issue of class.

Goldsmith is the brother of the mother of Kate Middleton, who started dating William eight years ago when they met at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Ever since, there has been discussion about whether this "commoner," now a 27-year-old accessories-buyer-turned-photography-student, was good enough for the heir to the British throne.

Goldsmith is a property developer and has tattooed the words "Nouveau Riche" between his shoulder blades. Those born into "old money," commentators have noted wryly, decidedly do not use ink this way.

"The march of the middle-class Middletons" was one recent headline about the "kitschy" uncle, who jokes on the video that he will soon have his own room in Buckingham Palace.
On the one hand, this is the sort of thing that keeps Fleet Street interested in the Royal Family. There has to be some form of youth, sex, violence, screaming, more violence, drugs, and topless sunbathing to keep them from following the Beckhams around the world. But, on the other hand, perhaps you don't want the interest when the Royals themselves are about to enter a very interesting time. The Beckhams replaced the Royal Family for a time, but only because Prince Harry was between bouts of dressing up like a Stormtrooper, and not the good kind, either. An embarrassing uncle is nothing.  History is replete with them. The only thing that is new is the volume of the phony outrage. Expect scads of phony outrage as the boys age. Do you think they've been wild so far? William and Harry have cousins galore. Britain is a playground for the idle rich. Expect something more than a few turned-over dustbins. Expect horror and degradation as this generation discovers that it is going to be denied the birthright of indolence and depravity royals are accustomed to. This generation, thanks to the advances in surveillance technology and security camera technology, can't do anything.  It will rebel. It will burst out of a chrysalis and frighten us all. Think Ozzy Osbourne being told he can't take his T-shirt off--that kind of rebellion.

The Royals of today could learn something from Queen Christina--there is nothing new under the sun. I have long believed that Charles would never be king; I sometimes think he should never be king. I do know one thing--none of us will probably live long enough to see Kate Middleton become Queen of England. I wish I could. It would be an amazing reign. Think Ozzy, sans T-shirt, painted up like Boy George and sent rolling through Camden on a turned-over wheelbarrow with a wine bottle lodged in his ass the wrong way in.

A New Nightmare for the Royal Family of Britain


Just when you thought that the reign of Queen Elizabeth was going to enter a quiet, golden period, this happens:

If his glamorous niece weren't expected to marry Britain's Prince William, Gary Goldsmith might just be another cocaine-snorting, tattooed, embarrassing uncle.

But when an undercover video last week showed Goldsmith, 49, cutting lines of cocaine in "La Maison de Bang Bang" -- the villa he owns on the Spanish isle of Ibiza -- his oh-so-unregal lifestyle became headlines -- and a scandal steeped in the crass issue of class.

Goldsmith is the brother of the mother of Kate Middleton, who started dating William eight years ago when they met at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Ever since, there has been discussion about whether this "commoner," now a 27-year-old accessories-buyer-turned-photography-student, was good enough for the heir to the British throne.

Goldsmith is a property developer and has tattooed the words "Nouveau Riche" between his shoulder blades. Those born into "old money," commentators have noted wryly, decidedly do not use ink this way.

"The march of the middle-class Middletons" was one recent headline about the "kitschy" uncle, who jokes on the video that he will soon have his own room in Buckingham Palace.

On the one hand, this is the sort of thing that keeps Fleet Street interested in the Royal Family. There has to be some form of youth, sex, violence, screaming, more violence, drugs, and topless sunbathing to keep them from following the Beckhams around the world. But, on the other hand, perhaps you don't want the interest when the Royals themselves are about to enter a very interesting time. The Beckhams replaced the Royal Family for a time, but only because Prince Harry was between bouts of dressing up like a Stormtrooper, and not the good kind, either. An embarrassing uncle is nothing.  History is replete with them. The only thing that is new is the volume of the phony outrage. Expect scads of phony outrage as the boys age. Do you think they've been wild so far? William and Harry have cousins galore. Britain is a playground for the idle rich. Expect something more than a few turned-over dustbins. Expect horror and degradation as this generation discovers that it is going to be denied the birthright of indolence and depravity royals are accustomed to. This generation, thanks to the advances in surveillance technology and security camera technology, can't do anything.  It will rebel. It will burst out of a chrysalis and frighten us all. Think Ozzy Osbourne being told he can't take his T-shirt off--that kind of rebellion.

The Royals of today could learn something from Queen Christina--there is nothing new under the sun. I have long believed that Charles would never be king; I sometimes think he should never be king. I do know one thing--none of us will probably live long enough to see Kate Middleton become Queen of England. I wish I could. It would be an amazing reign. Think Ozzy, sans T-shirt, painted up like Boy George and sent rolling through Camden on a turned-over wheelbarrow with a wine bottle lodged in his ass the wrong way in.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

India and the Dream of a Blue Water Navy

Don't look now, but someone's trying to build a blue water navy:

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched the country's first locally built nuclear-powered submarine on Sunday.

"Today, we join a select group of five nations who possess the capability to build a nuclear-powered submarine," Singh declared in his speech at the eastern naval base of Visakhapatnam.

Although he billed the submarine as an outcome of a public-private partnership, the Indian leader did mention Russia in his address.

"I would also like to express our appreciation to our Russian friends for their consistent and invaluable cooperation, which symbolizes the close strategic partnership that we enjoy with Russia," Singh remarked.

I would be concerned, but, really, one submarine amounts to very little. That it didn't sink is a blessing. Simply having something does not mean you can project it around the world.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tony Romo Throws Away Love

Jessica Simpson

I wept when I read this. According to the National Enquirer, which I won't link to, Tony Romo dumped Jessica Simpson. And when I say dumped, I mean, he actually dumped her in a parking lot.

Tony Romo was looking for just the right moment to finally kick Jessica Simpson out of his life - and he found it an International House of Pancakes in the middle of Texas!

[During a three-hour car ride]… tensions between the two reached a boiling point.

“They’d argued a lot over the past several months. This time, Tony barely said a word,” said an insider.

“He suddenly pulled into the parking lot of an IHOP and growled ‘get out.’ Jess got out and slammed the door. Before she could say anything, Tony peeled off. She ended crying her eyes out for the next two hours while she waited for someone to come pick her up.”

“If she didn’t realize it before, she finally got the message that Tony had reached his limit.”

What a cad. Would Troy Aikman do something like this? I couldn't believe it, either. You'd expect this sort of thing from a quarterback from an AFC Central team, or even a San Diego Charger, but a Dallas Cowboy? Unbelievable.

My advice for Jessica Simpson is this--hook up with one of those Disney show boys. Since the twins Dylan and Cole Sprouse are not of age yet, avoid the jailbait route and try to find something hunky in the 18 to 20 age group that just went out partying with pals in West Hollywood with a fake ID. Better yet, hook up with a nobody, and say that the mindblowing, wall-shaking, glass-shattering sex caused you to completely and utterly forget Tony altogether. Go on the Today show and look at Matt Laurer and go, "whoa, Tony, I mean, you know, ewwwwww..." and do the wiggy-waggy thing with your index finger that simulates a woman describing an impotent male. Matt will always play along--he loves to see another man humiliated on his show.

Nothing gets revenge on a no-good, low-as-a-snake's-belly dawg like Tony Romo like implying that he cannot perform. It will severely limit his chances of upgrading on you, Jessica, which I don't think is possible. Scarlett Johannson is now married, Britney is still a little nutty, and I think Susan Sarandon is still off the market.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Delaware Faces Lawsuit Over Sports Betting

In the 1950s, men routinely emptied their bank accounts to go gambling

Having been to Delaware, I can assure you--sports betting will not save the First State. I don't know what will save it. Swim-A-Longs with Dolphins? Fully Nude Strip Clubs? State Line Fireworks Booths?

Back in May, I told you Sports Betting Will Ruin Everything and I laid out my reasons for being against the practice of betting on games. Fans will upend their lives and pawn their belongings just to bet on a Jets-Bills or Redskins-Giants game. There is no moderation in the life of a professional football fan, sir. None.

Today, the four major sports, yes, they were kind and they allowed the NHL to join in, plus the NCAA, filed a lawsuit against Delaware. Methinks Delaware is going to lose:

The four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA sued Delaware Friday, seeking to block the state from implementing sports betting.

Delaware's sports betting plan "would irreparably harm professional and amateur sports by fostering suspicion and skepticism that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest athletic competition," the leagues and NCAA say in a lawsuit filed in federal district court in Delaware.

Congress banned sports betting in 1992 but grandfathered four states - Delaware, Nevada, Montana and Oregon - that had already offered it. But the lawsuit argues that Delaware's plan to allow single-game betting would violate the legislation because Delaware has never offered single-game betting before.

Under the '92 law, the leagues and NCAA said, a state like Delaware may only reintroduce sports betting if it had been conducted between 1976 and 1990.

They also argue that Delaware's plan is illegal because it allows betting on all sports, going beyond the professional football betting program that constituted the state's brief failed experiment in 1976.

Now, depending on how the judges view that, it could definitely cut against Delaware. I would argue that, in the time frame of 1976 to 1990, there were far fewer methods of betting. Using a credit card was available then, but the advent of the Internet, texting, wireless technology, and the expansion of the major sports franchises, not to mention the creation of the Bowl Championship Series, means that limiting precedent in this case won't fly. I think the case will be won by looking at why Delaware is trying to do this--Delaware, like virtually all of the other states, is broke. It's trying to raise revenue.

The four major sports, and the NCAA, realize this, but they're afraid of losing money as well. A few gambling scandals have hit in recent years--NBA, I still don't watch you because I'm convinced your games are rigged by phony referees--and baseball is still reeling from a steroids scandal. The NCAA, especially, is vulnerable because of the influence of alumni and the fanatical fan base found in places like the SEC and the Big East (but, really, everywhere, even in the Mountain West).

The fans will bankrupt themselves betting on games--no one is more certain of their ability to win some mad money than an Eagles fan that smells blood in the water when the hapless Cowboys come to town. Now that Tony Romo is facing an NFL season without the lovely Jessica Simpson there to keep him grounded, he will likely throw seven or eight interceptions per half when he faces the Eagles.

The societal breakdown of gambling is such that you really want to keep it in Las Vegas, and let them deal with the fallout. If you turn the East Coast into a sports betting paradise, with flocks of erstwhile experts rushing in and out of Delaware to place bets on single games, well, all I can tell you is that one fixed NFL game would bring everything crashing down all around us. Many years ago, Hollywood gave us a pretty good documentary on this issue, and I cannot give you a better example of the evils of sports betting.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Celebrity Hits a Sports Hero Hard

You're a successful athlete, you're doing whatever you can to make your team better, you're leading by example--and then this happens:
A woman has filed a lawsuit accusing Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of raping her last summer in his penthouse hotel room at a casino in Lake Tahoe during a celebrity golf tournament.

Roethlisberger's lawyer denied the allegations Tuesday, and noted that the woman, who was working at the hotel as an executive casino host, never went to the authorities.

"Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone. The timing of the lawsuit and the absence of a criminal complaint and a criminal investigation are the most compelling evidence of the absence of any criminal conduct," David Cornwell said in a statement. "If an investigation is commenced, Ben will cooperate fully and Ben will be fully exonerated."

This is why professional athletes have to keep lawyers on retainer. If their images aren't being stolen by cheap bloggers who can't seem to make it out to the old football stadium to snap pictures on their own, then they are having to fend off lawsuits, distant relatives, and creepy old guys who want to practice snapping the ball with you.

Here's the good news, however:
Law enforcement officials in Nevada have no intention of opening a criminal investigation into allegations Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger raped a woman at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino a year ago, the sheriff's department said Wednesday.

Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Teresa Duffy said the accuser would have to file a criminal complaint to trigger an investigation into the incident the woman says occurred during a celebrity golf tournament last July while she was working as an executive VIP casino host at Harrah's Lake Tahoe.

The story really doesn't end there. Roethlisberger's accuser is, to put it mildly, a screaming bag of nuts:
Either Ben Roethlisberger accuser Andrea McNulty has painted a disturbing picture of the two-time Super Bowl winner, or she has a very active imagination.

The Nevada hotel employee accusing the Pittsburgh Steelers star of raping her last year says that she told him to stop but the football player refused.

She also alleges that she tried to report the sexual assault, but was shut down by her bosses who downplayed it and threatened her job if she spoke out.

There is also the question of the mental state of Andrea McNulty, who has been treated for PTSD, insomnia, anxiety and depression since the incident.

Is this a byproduct of what happened with Roethlisberger? Or, on the flip side, did her condition lead her to embellish what happened with the NFL star?

I vote for bag of nuts. No one should have to go through this sort of thing, and you always have to remember that, many times, there are unreported incidents of rape and sexual assault. You must always remember this--there truly are some sick and depraved individuals out there who believe their status as a third-string high school football player entitles them to do whatever they want in Shit Holler, Kentucky or wherever. One must keep in mind the need to protect the rights and privacy of the accuser and the accused, where possible.

But, in this case, sorry. When you don't file a criminal report, you make it very difficult to have your story believed. And specifying you want $400K doesn't help you, either.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kiefer Sutherland and a Rare Brush With the Law

I was shocked to read, earlier this year, that actor Kiefer Sutherland had had a brush with the law. I know, you just wouldn't expect him to have problems with Johnny Law. It's completely out of character for him.

Sutherland was accused of using his skull to knock a man down. I know, this is not like him. Not like him at all. No worries, though, because the charges have been dropped:

Misdemeanor assault charges have been dropped against "24" star Kiefer Sutherland in a head-butting incident at a New York City nightclub, according to Alicia Maxey Greene, spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

"We decided to drop the charge after a full investigation, including after speaking to a complaining witness, who was uncooperative," Greene told CNN Tuesday.

The charges stem from an incident in which Sutherland allegedly head-butted designer Jack McCollough at a New York City nightclub in May.

McCollough had claimed he was "the victim of a vicious, violent, unprovoked assault," according to a statement released after the incident from McCollough's publicist..

Several weeks after the incident, Sutherlandand McCollough issued a joint statement, through Sutherland's attorney, in which Sutherland apologized.

Now, there's where Sutherland screwed up. Never apologize, ever. Never, ever say you are sorry. Your enemies will pounce. In Sutherland's case, his status as the point man in our fight against terror leaves him vulnerable to nuisance lawsuits and the like. A few more years of what we have now, and terrorists are going to sue Sutherland in Federal Court for defamation of character, and the Democrat-appointed liberal judges will rule in their favor. All of this over a little bum scuffling in a nightclub. Big deal.

When you run into someone who needs head-butting, you have your assistant do it. I have often turn to my new assistant, Peej, and instructed him to head-butt whoever is bothering me at the time. It is true that Peej balked at head-butting a Johnny Law who was haranguing me about driving with a dead deer hanging from the pushbumper of my Lexus SUV. Apparently, you're not allowed to drive around with "trophies" unless you're actually out hunting with a rifle or a bow and arrow. Whatever.

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone

When you see talent, acknowledge it:

She's only 23, but Deepika Padukone is already living a life millions would envy.

The model-turned-actress was spotted in a music video and then cast in one of the biggest grossing films in Bollywood history. She still only has three movies under her belt, but star status has already been bestowed upon her.

With no family connections to the film industry and not being from Mumbai, Padukone traveled a route to movie stardom millions could only dream of.

After deciding to become a model at the age of 16, she was picked out of a music video by acclaimed director Farah Khan and cast in her next film opposite Shahrukh Khan. "Om Shanti Om" went on to become not only a hit in India, but also gained wider acclaim among western audiences.

"I completely didn't expect it. When I met Farah I thought she was joking. And at that point it seemed too good to be true. Shahrukh is someone who I've grown up watching, and I didn't think that I deserve being a part of such a huge film. It's only later, when I met Shahrukh and when things actually started happening, when I realized that this is for real," she told CNN.

Despite her meteoric rise to fame and work on some big budget films she believes she's learning the job of being an A-list Bollywood actress.

"I had great debut, a successful film, but after that...I would think it's quite difficult to choose the right film. You never know what's right and what's wrong," she said.

I can't wait to see her in a film. As we speak, Peej is calling around, trying to find one of her films.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So Why Were You BFF With Bush?


 I don't have much to add here, except for these photos:










It's nice that Mr. Bono regrets snubbing such a great President, but how does he justify his post-Bush posturing with how he acted when he needed things from the former President? In the future, do your snubbing with a bit more intellectual honesty, sir.

I will say this--the Christy Turlington defense is appropriate here for Mr. Bono. The CT defense is when you do whatever it takes, no matter what the cost to yourself personally or professionally, to be as close to Christy Turlington as possible. I cannot fault Bono for doing that, I really cannot. I would stand next to Bill Clinton if Christy Turlington were anywhere nearby.

Crossing the Line With the Erin Andrews Video

Erin Andrews, ESPN

There are some women that I won't put on my blog. That is not to say that I don't like them, that I don't appreciate them, but rather, it is to say that there are some women who we already know are hotties, but perhaps are a little more than just hotties. Is it wrong of me to make that distinction? Is it wrong of me to say, no, I won't put up pictures of Maria Sharapova or Danica Patrick. (Did I do Danica Patrick? Neither Peej nor I can remember.) I suppose I need to address the ethical concerns of posting pictures of hotties, which I do here and here.

Now, I use that term out of fun. In reality, I am a man with a daughter, with fantastic relationships with strong females, and with seriously co-dependent relationships with other females, and I celebrate beauty, not possession of that beauty.

In other words, I do respect women. That may be hard to believe, but I do.

Erin Andrews is in that overall category of women whom I respect and admire--and that's primarily because she doesn't do the "lad magazines" and she is more of a television personality than a mere babe on television.

Being a baseball fan, I have watched Andrews for years, and she is an excellent broadcaster. In and of her own right, she is to be respected, so nothing about this is even remotely right:

Hackers are using an illegally-taped peephole video that has naked shots of glamorous ESPN sports reporter Erin Andrews as a lure to get click-happy web surfers to download dangerous malware to their computers, according to a computer security website.

Andrews has become a popular fixture on ESPN and the web as a vivacious and beautiful reporter. So much so, that someone used a peephole camera to record video of Andrews as she disrobed.

Naturally, the video went viral online and ESPN lawyers have been scrambling to shut down websites that post links to the material.

That means it's getting increasingly hard to find on the web, but that hasn't stopped the growing demand for it.

And it's that drive that hackers are plugging into, according to, a website that sells security software, but also provides security news.

One version of the hack, fools surfers into clicking on what appears to be a CNN version of the video, according to Sophos. When users hit the play button they are presented with a pop up window warning them that their popup blocker has blocked the video player window and they must launch another player. Doing so doesn't play the video, but it does install a Trojan horse with which hackers can later attack the computer, says the site.

The person or persons who used the pinhole camera to make the video of Andrews went so far over the line as to obliterate it completely. There is no good reason to do that to any person, male or female, young or old, attractive or not.

I have a policy that says that, should I be contacted by someone and asked to remove photographs or an entire post, I will certainly do so without carping or complaining. In fact, I have always recognized that there is a good chance of that, and that's why I always celebrate and complement, and I save the humiliating and scorning for politicians and liberals. There is a happy medium, and you can celebrate art and beauty, and you can pay someone like Andrews a complement or point out that, wow, she is an attractive young lady, without breaking the law or going so far over the line as to be insanely creepy. And I know insanely creepy, sir.

That being said, I hope they catch whoever did this to Andrews and throw the book at them.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Finally, a movie for people like me

Can you imagine how thrilled I am right now?

LIAM NEESON is to star in a film of TV classic The A Team.

The Irish actor, 57, will play scheming Hannibal, the late GEORGE PEPPARD’s role in the 80s series.

A source said: “Producers don’t care he’s not American.”

WOODY HARRELSON is set to play Murdock and hunk BRADLEY COOPER is in talks to star as Face.

Rap star COMMON is favourite to land the role of B.A.

I'm fairly happy with the casting, although I cannot for the life of me understand how they can snub a fine actor like Jason Lee, who would make the penultimate Murdock.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Who Would Make a Perfect Bilbo Baggins?

Not that anyone cares what I think, but here goes:

Which actor will tackle on Bilbo Baggins role in "" won't be unraveled at San Diego Comic Con 2009 like what has been suggested before. Producer Peter Jackson
has slammed the possibility in an interview with Empire Online. When asked about the circulating rumor, the three-time Academy Award-winner said, "No, we won't be announcing Bilbo for a little while."

Moreover, the director of "The Lord of the Rings
" trilogy explained on why the filmmakers are yet to move forward with the casting. "We're starting to think about casting, but we're knee-deep in the script right now. And when we do go to actors, they're probably going to ask to see a script, so we're powering ahead with getting the first draft done."

Days back, Los Angeles Times' Hero Complex reported that there was a chance that at Comic Con 2009, director Guillermo del Toro will make casting announcement for the lead character in the J.R.R. Tolkien's adaptation. The publication added that "Harry Potter" star , "Doctor Who
" actor and "" leading man are the potential candidates for the part.

My first choice was probably too daring--Clint Eastwood is too old to play the part. However, all I have to say is this:

John Travolta would make a perfect  Bilbo Baggins.

Yes, you're welcome. You're very welcome indeed.

Ne-Yo Sticks it to Manchester

This is one of the worst excuses for being too loaded to perform that I have ever heard:

"My voice couldn't take it. From the first song I knew something was wrong," Ne-Yo
continued his explanation. "I shoulda stopped there, but I come from a school where no matter what, the show must go on. It wasn't until about 4 songs in that I came to the painful realization that my voice was done, literally nothing left, and that I would have to stop the show."

"I've never had to stop a show, never dreamed I'd ever have to. So when I had to walk out on that stage and tell 12,000 of the people responsible for making me who I am that I could not perform for them, it literally broke my heart. I cried harder than I have in a very long time with no shame whatsoever."

Ne-Yo concluded his apologetic statement on Global Grindby thanking his fans. "To the people of Manchester, know that I love you and I thank you for being so understanding and supportive. And I promise you that you will receive the show deserved. Thanks to the fans for the love and concern," he ended.

Ne-Yo was in tears when performing in Manchester. In the beginning of the show, he said he felt sick. After singing one song, he revealed he couldn't take it anymore and told the crowd, "I've never not completed a show. I've never done this before. I want to thank y'all for bearing with me as long as y'all did. I appreciate that. Trust me when I say, I will be back. I love ya'll."

Now, I understand the music business--I was in the music business for the better part of nine months--but when I played Manchester, it was at Old Trafford, the Manchester United soccer stadium, and it held about 68,000 people in the mid-1980s when I played there.

Yes, I played to a soccer stadium full of soccer fans. They brought me in, and I sang one song, "Can't Stop Me Making Money (By Being Funky!!!)  and they went berserk. I have never had so many people give me the finger in all of my life.

Ne-Yo got loaded, decided he was going to end up splayed on his ass in front of all of those people, and bailed on his gig. That's music industry parlance, by the by.

My advice for Ne-Yo is this--keep getting loaded. Blow of a few more shows. It will add a Sly and the Family Stone mystique to your image, and the fans who actually got to see your shows when you still cared will keep buying tickets for phantom shows you will never actually perform, and you'll get to keep the money of the fans who fail to apply for refunds. That's cash money in your pocket, for doing nothing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mischa Barton's Savvy Career Move

Mischa Barton

If you can't get publicity for your projects in the usual way, just have an in-home meltdown:

Mischa Barton was placed under an involuntary psychiatric hold (also known as a 5150) by the Los Angeles Police Department and transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Wednesday evening, a source close to the situation claimed to Access Hollywood.

On Wednesday, Access broke the news that authorities had responded to the Los Angeles home of the starlet after receiving a non-911 call from her residence around 3 p.m. A patrol car responded to the scene and began assisting Barton with a “medical issue,” a spokesperson for the LAPD confirmed to Access on Wednesday evening.

The source claimed that Barton was placed under Section 5150 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code by police and transported to Cedars-Sinai.

I hope that this was just a cynical attempt at promoting a new film, and not an actual melt down. If it was an actual mental break down, I have pertinent advice for the young lady, and for anyone else who cares to hear it.

My Father has long been "colorful" in his own inimitable way. He will scream, throw things, order henchmen and hired muscle around, and he will shoot up small pleasurecraft. He just does this for attention, or for extra food, or for access to the Internet. I gloss over it, but I'm stoic that way.

The way that I deal with his shenanigans is simple--I pretend not to see it. What Mischa Barton needs to do is to pretend that whatever is bothering her, annoying her, or causing her to engage in the sort of behavior that would trigger an involuntary hospitalization simply doesn't exist. When Father tells me I am a horrible bastard of a son and tries to kill me with whatever blunt instrument he has at hand, I laugh, pat him on the head, and have Peej take care of it. For Heaven's Sake--it's NOT the alcohol. Alcohol is the scapegoat of a lazy mind.

Sorry, Mischa--you can't have Peej. He is my saving grace.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Great Movies

Here are some of the great movies that I enjoy...

This Gun For Hire


Hello Dolly

Mutiny on the Bounty

The Longest Day

Great Movies

Here are some of the great movies that I enjoy...

This Gun For Hire


Hello Dolly

Mutiny on the Bounty

The Longest Day

There's nothing here

Really, when you begin to look at the details, it certainly looks like a trap to me:

The CIA spent at least $1 million on the secret intelligence program that aimed to develop hit squads to kill al Qaeda leaders but never went beyond the planning stage, a congressional official said Tuesday.

The highly classified program, which never became operational but remained in existence until it was shut down by CIA Director Leon Panetta in June, is expected to trigger a congressional investigation, other officials said.

The House Intelligence Committee asked the CIA to provide documents about the now-canceled program to kill al Qaeda leaders, and agency officials said it would comply with the request, congressional officials said Tuesday.

According to one official, the agency spent at least $1 million over the eight years that the CIA considered launching the hit teams. The official would not detail the exact amount or its uses. The official and others spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

House Democrats and liberals in general are going to have a great deal of egg on their faces if nothing was carried out. This seems to have been a planning mission, a contingency if things went south, and if you don't actually do anything, why would you have to brief it to Congress?

When you sit and think about it, of course we should have a plan to hunt down and kill al Qaeda members anywhere on the globe. The major criticism of the Bush Administration used to be that it wasn't going into Pakistan to get al Qaeda; now that it is revealed that they had just such a program in place, liberals are screaming about the rule of law again. What they forget is that the Obama Administration isn't exactly embracing the rule of law and does believe that it can keep things secret from the Congress.

Now, please let me remind you of what President Bush said in his address to Congress, shortly after 9/11:

We will direct every resource at our command--every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war--to the disruption and defeat of the global terror network.

This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with its decisive liberation of territory and its swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on television, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

I think we need to remember that, yes, he screwed it up, big time. Every good Republican knows that President Bush was asleep at the wheel most of the time, and rolling in a ditch filled with mediocrity the rest of the time, but one cannot say that he didn't spell out what he intended to do. But, enough with the phony outrage. Everyone knew they were going to send men out with knives to do the dirty work, and from what I gather, it never really even got that far.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Too Stupid to be in the Army

This little fellow is smarter than a certain US Army Major...

Here's a very simple matter, one that I can clear up for you in mere moments:

U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook, set to deploy to Afghanistan, says he shouldn’t have to go.

His reason?

Barack Obama was never eligible to be president because he wasn’t born in the United States.

Cook’s lawyer, Orly Taitz, who has also challenged the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency in other courts, filed a request last week in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order and status as a conscientious objector for his client.

In the 20-page document — filed July 8 with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia — the California-based Taitz asks the court to consider granting his client’s request based upon Cook’s belief that Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Cook further states he “would be acting in violation of international law by engaging in military actions outside the United States under this President’s command. ... simultaneously subjecting himself to possible prosecution as a war criminal by the faithful execution of these duties.”

Now, what's really going on here is that Major Cook is not really interested in determining whether or not the President is eligible to be President. What's really going on here is that Major Cook is too stupid to hold a commission in the United States Army.

Anything beyond that is not worth discussing.

Jennifer Aniston Is The Village Bicycle

"Rock Star" is a movie that Jennifer Aniston made

How sad to be Jennifer Aniston. Every time she finds a man who isn't quite as famous as her, he dumps her because he can.

Actress Jennifer Aniston rarely responds to even the most ridiculous romance gossip, which might explain why she didn't expect her once-rumored beau, Bradley Cooper, to deny their relationship. According to the National Enquirer, Cooper’s recent comments left his “He’s Just Not That Into You” co-star reeling.

“Jennifer was devastated when Bradley told reporters in Paris that she was ‘just a friend’ and denied they had any romantic involvement,” an insider told the National Enquirer. “It makes her look desperate — which is the one thing she dreads coming across more than anything else.”

At first, Aniston allegedly assumed Cooper’s public stance was merely an attempt to keep their relationship private, but the source explained that the actress soon learned otherwise.

“When (Aniston) confronted (Cooper) about it, he took the opportunity to let her down gently and say he only wanted to be friends,” the source revealed. “It was a huge embarrassment for Jennifer — now she feels used and upset — her confidence has taken yet another knock and she’s back at square one in terms of dating.”

Thereis a nasty game afoot here--Jennifer Aniston is being used to trade up for a better hottie in Hollywood.It's as if all the dating dudes got together in a huddle and came up with a plan--in order to get at the Hayden Panettiere's and Megan Fox's and whoever is on the Hills, a dating dude has to successfully convince Jennifer Aniston that he loves her and wants to help her settle down and then he has to publicly dump her and make her look like a fool so that he can "trade up."

That's not what really happens in the film "Rock Star,"but I suppose it is close. I believe Aniston thinks that the men who dump her are going to reconcile with her, loosely following the plot of the movie, but they're not. They're too busy waiting to see if that Lauren Conrad girl will call them back while they laugh with their flunkies about how dating Aniston got them into People magazine just before their next project was to come out. Aniston has to go work in a coffee shop or something like that in order to get her man back in Rock Star. What they don't tell you, though, is that working in a coffee shop makes you ineligible to be dated by anyone successful. I have a daughter that worked in a coffee shop--and all she ever brought home were dirtbags and scuzzballs. It's true.

Here's what Jennifer Aniston needs to do--pretend to be a lesbian. Oh, that would send her stock through the roof. She needs to announce this on the Ellen Degeneres Show, on a Tuesday, and ride the publicity wave all week long. Ellen and Jennifer need to do a little bump and grind, and then Ellen's wife Portia de Rossi can come out and pull Aniston's hair out by the roots.

I don't mean to say that she should trade on being a lesbian in order to make more money--that would be unethical. I do mean to say that if Aniston wishes to stick it in the ear of the men who have done her wrong--those no-good, belly-low dogs--then she should pretend to be gay and go around telling everyone that it was because the lovemaking with those men was so inept and unsatisfying that she had no choice but to shack up with Margaret Cho or whoever.

Now, would Margaret Cho go for it? Probably.

The danger inherent in this strategy is that famous Hollywood lesbians would start to treat Aniston like the village bicycle, and trade up by dumping her. I would hope that that wouldn't happen. If it does, the best advice I can give Aniston is to simply stay home on Friday nights and possibly move to Europe.

The Flaw in Our Afghanistan Strategy

US Soldiers Stuck in the Sand, Southern Afghanistan, 2004

Being a man of war, and of military concerns, is draining. It's hard for me to sit here and see others make dreadful mistakes.

STRATFOR tells us what is going on in Afghanistan:

The Afghan counterinsurgency campaign also suffers from a weakness in its strategic rationale. What makes Afghanistan critical to the United States is al Qaeda, the core group of jihadists that demonstrated the ability to launch transcontinental attacks against the West from Afghanistan. The argument has been that without U.S. troops in the country and a pro-American government in Kabul, al Qaeda might return, rebuild and strike again. That makes Afghanistan a strategic interest for the United States

But there is a strategic divergence between the war against al Qaeda and the war against the Taliban. Some will argue that al Qaeda remains operational, and that therefore the United States must make the long-term military investment in Afghanistan to deprive the enemy of sanctuary.

But while some al Qaeda members remain to issue threatening messages from the region, the group’s ability to meet covertly, recruit talent, funnel money and execute operations from the region has been hampered considerably. The overall threat value of al Qaeda, in our view, has declined. If this is a war that pivots on intelligence, the mission to block al Qaeda eventually may once again be left to the covert capabilities of U.S. intelligence and Special Operations Command, whether in Afghanistan, Pakistan or elsewhere.

Widening the war’s objectives to defeating the Taliban insurgency through a resource-intensive hearts-and-minds campaign requires time and patience, both of which lie with the insurgent. If the United States were to draw the conclusion that al Qaeda was no longer functional, and that follow-on organizations may be as likely to organize attacks from Somalia or Pakistan as much as from Afghanistan, then the significance of Afghanistan declines.

That creates the asymmetry that made the Vietnam War unsustainable. The Taliban have nowhere else to go. They have fought as an organization since the 1990s, and longer than that as individuals. Their interests in the future of Afghanistan towers over the American interest if it is determined that the al Qaeda-Afghanistan nexus is no longer decisive. If that were to happen, then the willingness of the United States to absorb casualties would decline dramatically.

It does make you want to reconsider our strategy. If you believe, as I do, that al Qaeda is still a significant threat that should be dealt with accordingly, and by that I mean, dealt with as if it were a small, pathetic organization with very little to show for itself, then you cannot be happy that the Democrat Party has decided to politicize intelligence and national security by permanently attacking the Bush Administrationwhile ignoring the fact that the Obama Administration is simply carrying out the same policies, but with a fresher, happier attitude towards our many friends and allies.

I would urge you to digest every bit of "What Really Happened at Wanat," by Thomas Ricks:

Just before dawn last July 13, Taliban fighters attacked an outpost in eastern Afghanistan being established by U.S. Army soldiers and fought a short, sharp battle that left many American dead -- and many questions. But the U.S. military establishment, I've found after reviewing the Army investigation, dozens of statements given by soldiers to investigators, and interviews with knowledgeable sources, simply has not wanted to confront some bad mistakes on this obscure Afghan battlefield -- especially tragic because, as the interviews make clear, some of the doomed soldiers knew they were headed for potential disaster.

First, here's my account of what happened that day, drawn from the official investigation and other sources:

The 45 Americans, mainly from 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, had begun building a patrol base in the Waygul River valley village of Wanat on July 8. There also were three Marines present, who were training Afghans, and 24 soldiers from the Afghan army. (The initial Army report said two Marines, but subsequent documents corrected this.) The platoon's leader was there the whole time, but the company commander was busy elsewhere and only arrived the day before the attack. None of their superiors visited the outpost during that time. Significantly, there was no overhead surveillance by unmanned aerial vehicles because of bad weather, according to Army documents.

At 4:20 a.m., just before sunrise, volleys of rocket-propelled grenades began to hit the base. There were approximately 200 attackers, according to the Army investigation. They began by concentrating on the American's heavy weapons -- a 120 millimeter mortar, a TOW missile system, and a .50 caliber machine gun. It felt like "about a thousand RPGs at once," Spec. Tyler Hanson later told an Army interviewer. With the first two heavy weapons knocked out, the Taliban moved in to fight just feet away from the Americans, making it difficult to call in air strikes against them. Enemy fighters threw rocks into their Americans' fighting holes, apparently hoping they soldiers would mistake them for grenades and jump out, exposing themselves to fire. Enemy fire was coming from every direction. "The whole time we were thinking we were going to die," said Spec. Chris McKaig.

Many did. When most of the fighting was over, about an hour later, nine American soldiers were dead and another 27 were wounded. Between 21 and 52 of the attackers were killed. The Americans held the outpost, which is impressive, considering their 75 percent casualty rate.

Lessons are not being learned. This shall lead us to ruin.

Monday, July 13, 2009

That Slutty E-surance Spokesmodel is Back to Torment Me

You know I love hotties, right? I mean, it's not that I actually love them; it's more that I love looking at them. You know I love the fact that many of them are safe for work and will pose in naughty ways, correct?

Well, I draw the line at erotic cartoon figures. That is something that, understandably, freaks me out. Not in the good way, either. In the bad way. In the way that sends me flying across the room, mad as hell and kicking things.

It could be a flashback complex that I have for Josie and the Pussycats, the original animated show that ran in the very early 1970s. I would sit around with my sons and we would watch that show and it completely and utterly freaked me out--especially when the entire series seemed to change and the whole thing went into space or whatever. I was a new father, my own Father had already tried to kill me several times, and anything to do with freaking out freaked me out. I couldn't watch Scooby Doo or the Jetsons, either. Now, I was always a pretty frisky boy, and cartoons were at their absolute peak in the 1960s and 1970s, well after I had already grown up. The sexual revolution brought eroticism and titillation into the cartoon world, and it caused a great deal of consternation for young parents like myself.

It could be because I am weird. Well, I stand by my evident weirdness, sir. I don't care what people think and I believe that it shows. I am brave in my exposure of myself via the Internet. Few people would ever give you this much information about who they are and what they believe.

Several months ago, I freaked out when I was confronted with this ad, featuring cartoon spokesmodel "Erin," who plays a secret agent bent on getting cheap insurance rates for customers:

Erin from E-Surance, the original slutty image that freaked me out

Do you see how "perky" they are, I mean, she is? She's too perky to be real, correct? And, yes, I'm talking about the cartoon breasts that are drawn on this character--what else would I be talking about? What kind of depraved mind sat down and drew them that way? The curving upturn clearly shows the work of a mind so deranged it cannot see anything but sex in every day situations.

 See how they stand out, and no matter where you sit in front of the monitor, they seem to follow you?

Well, this is what they've done with her today:

Erin from E-Surance, slutting it up

If things continue, how long before Erin is naked, walking around with pasties and a bullwhip? Do you really think celebrity spokesmodels should use sex to sell things? Don't answer that. Of course they should. But they shouldn't be cartoon celebrity spokesmodels. There, I draw the line.

Don't get me wrong; I am certainly no prude. I'm just freaked out when it comes to cartoon characters. 

Beauty and the Ancients

Ah, now this proves my point. Safe For Work Hotties are timeless and universal. If you cannot appreciate a beautiful woman, and I'll be consistent with my beliefs and add, or a beautiful man, then you are ignoring the thousands of years of human culture that came before us.

To wit:

Italian archaeologists have discovered lotion that is over 2,000 years old, left almost intact in the cosmetic case of an aristocratic Etruscan woman.

The discovery, which occurred four years ago in a necropolis near the Tuscan town of Chiusi, has just been made public, following chemical analysis which identified the original compounds of the ancient ointment. The team reports their findings in the July issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Dating to the second half of the second century B.C., the intact tomb was found sealed by a large terracotta tile. The site featured a red-purple painted inscription with the name of the deceased: Thana Presnti Plecunia Umranalisa.

Thana, we'll work up a gallery for you when we get the chance. Meanwhile, this is just good, plain old science in action:

"The entire content of the cosmetic case was found under a clay layer which deposited throughout time. This made it possible for the ointment to survive almost intact despite (the fact that) the vessel had no cap," Erika Ribechini, a researcher at the department of chemistry and industrial chemistry of Pisa University, told Discovery News.

Solid, homogeneous and pale yellow, the ointment revealed fatty acids in high abundance.

"This is almost unique in archaeology. Even though more than 2,000 years have passed, the oxidation of the organic material has not yet been completed. This is most likely due to the sealing of the alabaster unguentarium by the clayish earth, which prevented contact with oxygen," Ribechini said.

After analyzing the material, the researchers established that the contents of the vessel consisted of a mixture of substances of lipids and resins.

"The natural resins were the pine resin, exudated from Pinaceae, and the mastic resin, from Anacardiaceae trees. The lipid was a vegetable oil, most likely moringa oil, which was used by the Egyptians and Greeks to produce ointments and perfumes," Ribechini said.

Also called myrobalan oil, moringa oil was mentioned by Roman scholar Pliny the Elder (23 A.D. - 79 A.D.) in his celebrated Natural History as one of the ingredients in the recipe of a "regal perfume" for the king of Parthes.

Since moringa trees were not found in Italy — they are native to Sudan and Egypt — and given the Egyptian origins of the alabaster unguentarium, the researchers concluded that the ointment was imported to Etruria.

A desire to look desireable is as old as the ancient avenues and older still than anything left here by man. Ignore the prudes and enjoy the sensual.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Where Are the Propaganda Posters of Today?

Why isn't there an equivalent of this for kicking the Taliban's ass? Too politically incorrect?

A powerful image of a woman kicking an evil bastard in the gut--now there's a way to end the weekend. Excuse me while I put in the Patton DVD...

America Kicks The Will Ferrell Habit

This is a bit dated, but I wanted to follow up on it and add a few things. The question originally posed was, "Is America over Will Ferrell" and the answer was a resounding: Yes, it is:

The receipts are in. “Land of the Lost” opened this weekend in a distant, disappointing third place behind “Up”($44.2 million) and “The Hangover” ($43.3 million). “Lost” hauled in a mere $19.5 million, which may not sound like an epic train wreck until you consider that its budget and marketing costs were reportedly close to $200 million and it had one of the biggest stars in Hollywood on its poster.

You could say that the warning signs for Will Ferrell first appeared on Friday, when the nation's critics blew raspberries and dogpiled on the comedy. Our own critic, Owen Gleiberman, gave the movie a C, writing, "the film's only conviction is its investment in its total lack of conviction." That's gotta sting.

Still, I would argue that Ferrell's box-office fate was sealed long before the movie even came out. For months, the trailers of the erstwhile SNL star's riff on the not-very-good-to-begin-with '70s Saturday morning kiddie TV show have been greeted by mild chuckles at best. It had the stink of death on it long before this weekend. If you found yourself laughing at all at the trailer, it was more out of conditioned response to Ferrell's previous track record than the actual goods being sold this time around.

You can only go to the well so many times before things get stale. Trust me, I'm living in that well right now, sir. Gaaack. Fortunately, I can revive my creative side simply by sending unsolicited messages to celebrities on Twitter. Nothing has made this a more egalitarian society than Twitter. Except for maybe the Internet, the Blog, Facebook, MySpace, or E-mail. And I don't even Tweet anymore. I have a person doing that for me now.

Well, I'm not really paying him, I'm threatening him, but you get the idea of my predicament.

In the case of Ferrell, what he doesn't get is what I already know--the Internet is the solution to all of your creative and financial problems. I know that because I get E-mails touting this reality all day long.

How does one share and distribute brilliance? With a blog. How does one get their ideas into the mainstream? One buys favorable reviews or engages in some nasty forms of blackmail with sneering, deserving media figures. Many people do not realize this, but in what used to be "the radio business" in this country, hit records weren't made simply by having people call radio station disc jockeys to request certain songs. Entire careers were made simply by giving said disc jockeys drugs in exchange for playing utter tripe and crap. Listened to any Journey lately? You get my drift.

That being said, poor Will Ferrell. When someone doesn't understand that it is their time to go off and make a movie with Kevin Costner about being old and in love with a quirky girl a third of their own age, they turn into Richard Gere. I can see the Richard Gereification  of Will Ferrell coming on a distant horizon.

 It is a fearsome thing to know.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Moon and My Judgement


I should have gone to the moon. I probably would have built my own base there if I had had the chance. Sadly, the rise of liberalism in this country meant that spending on the space program had to come to a crashing halt so that we could keep welfare cheats in comfortable style so that the inner cities in this country wouldn't boil over. I hope it was money well spent.

There was some talk between Father and I as to whether or not I should learn to fly. Remember now: I was quite a frisky boy, so I don't know if he was kidding about this or not. The subject of learning to fly first came up when I was about 13. Father was adamant that I learn to fly in dangerous aircraft wearing nothing but the clothes mother put on me, and I demurred. The jumpsuit was king in those days, and no self-respecting boy would do anything dangerous without first putting on a jumpsuit. I wanted to fly cargo planes that had safety gear; he wanted me to fly in experimental test aircraft as an unpaid or unregistered volunteer for the United States Air Force, or, barring that, for the Chinese or the French.

Did you know the moon can make you crazy? I have known that all of my life. Now they've made a film about it (how the moon can make you nuts, not about me):

Science fiction movies don’t necessarily flourish in deep space. The best ones blossom in the fertile gray matter between your ears, and that’s precisely where Moon takes root. Trafficking in paranoia, isolation and corporate cover-ups, this delicately crafted first feature from director Duncan Jones shines a light toward the awkward shadow dance between science and humanity.

Jones wrote the story specifically for actor Sam Rockwell (Choke, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), who delivers a virtuoso performance as helium miner Sam Bell. Playing a lonely man on the moon as he nears the end of his three-year mining contract, Rockwell digs deep and comes up with an intricately layered portrait of a drone at wits’ end.

As he preps for his return to Earth, Sam starts hallucinating about sinister scenarios that may or may not be unfolding at his lunar outpost. Glitches in video messages he receives from his wife and from his corporate masters only fuel his paranoia.

Sounds like a real barn burner. I may see it, or I may not. It depends on whether or not the AMC near me shows it. I won't go anywhere else. I must have stadium seating, and I must go when there aren't too many people.

Celebrities, you have to consider how your projects make people like myself feel. If you're not pausing to figure out how your overly-long film or your ridiculous plot devices are going to affect me, you're not doing your job or jobs.

I certainly won't go see the film when my mind comes into moon phase and starts acting up on me. When I have what we call around the house "moon fever" I become very difficult to predict or deal with. I'm all but useless, in other words, and I lurch around, swinging my arms and knocking things over. I sweat a lot, I eat very little, and I'm in the bathroom quite a bit. It takes about a week for me to sweat it out and then I'm fine. Peej insists that I have malaria--as if! Malaria is something they get in tropical countries. In my lifetime, I've only been in about forty-six tropical countries that are known to have significant populations with malaria, and, in most of those, I never bothered with mosquito netting or sunblock. Malaria? Ha!

The moon is what does it to me. When the moon gets out of sync and pulls the oceans too close, the effect it has on me is palpable. I can sit in the study and feel it coming on, usually once a year. No matter what I do, the sweating and the panicking never seem to get any better, unless I take this silly drug called quinine. It's a chronic thing for me, moon sickness. I shall probably never be free of it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Structural Aspects of Celebrity Disaster

A Woman of Affairs

Pardon my indulgence, I need to create Categories and Tags, plus I need to see how the pictures work.


Never mind the cobwebs and the papers lying all about. We'll be up and running in a jiffy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Celebrity Disaster

Celebrity is the opposite of accomplishment

Celebrity leads to few redeeming things

Celebrity leads to the occasional disaster

Celebrity is disaster...