Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lost--"Tricia Tanaka is Dead"

Tonight we had Lost meets Little Miss Sunshine. Quite literally. Picture it: a father who is a jerk but comes around at the end, Hurley as the little girl, Charlie as druggie Alan Arkin who's going to die. It is all there. It was not a bad episode despites some obvious aping of the movie. There were no answers to the overall arc, which I am certain will have some fans fuming. But I like having a personal episode now and then to make you care about the characters.

As much of a fan as I am, this season has distanced me from them. So far, Desmond in “Flashes Before Your Eyes” is the only character I have felt any connection with as of late. I liked seeing Hurley finally deal with his grief here. There is too much nonchalance about the death of characters. When you think about it, it has only been a few weeks since Boone was killed, much less Libby. Realistically, their memories should be fresher in the Lostaways’ minds. I guess for the sake of a 5-6 season series, you cannot do that and move things along at the same time. A shame, really.

There was a lot of exposition here. I consider it a necessary evil in order to get the other Lostaways back up to speed since we have spent to much time recently with the Triumphant Trio & the Others. It was a nice touch to have Hurley talk to Libby’s grave, telling her all about his abduction on the like. I got a little choked up when he told her he was scared now, but never scared when she was with him. *Sniff* compare that to Sayid’s shallowness first in forgetting Nadia for Shannon, then forgetting Shannon period. To get the action (such that it was) started, a dog run up to Hurley with a decaying human arm in its mouth. Somehow or another, Hurley keeps up with the running dog and arrives at a DHARMA van with a corpse and beer inside. Hurley gets the idea (explained in flashbacks why it means something to him) to repair the van. He nlists Sawyer and Jin to help.

(That reunion that was so hyped did not amount to much. Sawyer and Kate return, then Kate stomps off to recruit Rousseau to help her rscue Jack and alex while sawyer is angry that his stuff has been stolen while he was missing.)

Next comes a lot of male bonding in repairing the van and helping Charlie out of hi funk. Being a superstitious soul, Charlie believes Desmond is right. He is going to die. In the interim, there are a ton of pop culture references, mostly from Sawyer, who lets the nicknames fly fast and furious for the entire hour. They eventually get the van started. Hurley an Charlie “face death” because of a steep hill, but overcome it. I assume this makes Charlie feel more secure and alleviates some of Hurley’s bad luck guilt regarding the numbers.

The flashbacks involve daddy issues yet again. Is their a Lostaway besides Sayid and Desmond that do not have them? Hurley and his father, played by Cheech Marin, are working on an old, destroyed car. Hurley is young an skinny here. His father laves him with a candy bar and says he has to go to Las Vegas to work. He is gone for seventeen years and does not return until after Hurly wins the lottery. Hurley I bummed about his bad luck. The episode title reveals the latest victim as a journalist interviewing him. Hi father eventually redeems himself by admitting he had only returned for the money. A poignant issue, considering Hurley kept the car they had been working on since his father left. We do not know whether the reconciliation took or not. Hurley immediately thereafter left for Australia and the crash on DHARMA Island.

Not a bad episode. I think the promos were overhyped and I cannot believe the DHARMA beer was safe to rink, much less tasty, but I can excuse it. Next week looks to be a really good episode full of revelations. Then again, we have heard that before.

Rating: *** (out of 5)
Antonella Barba Will Remain on American Idol

Antonella Barba will not be kicked off American Idol for posing for risque photos. Good thing, too. As the above picture demonstrates, she is extremely hot. I seem to recall there was a previous contestant booted off when nude pictures surfaced. Either AI has changed its policy, or they are admitting Barba is too popular and/or talented to give the old heave ho.
John McCain Officially Running

Sen. John McCain will officially announce his candidacy for president today. he will follow in the grand slumming tradition of appearing on David Letterman to do so. I fully expect by 2012, aspiring presidential candidates will go on American Idol nd announce their intentions like a singing telegram.

What is next? A WWE cage match between potential nominees? It might be less brutal than the front loaded primaries the two parties are planning now.
Jennifer Love Hewitt Has Nice Boobs

She shows off her assets quite nicely in that dress.
Climbing the Walls

The end of February has finally arrived. It could not have gotten here fast enough to suit me. It has been an exceptionally awful month. From the very beginning, I have gone from mildly feeling under the weather to sick as a dog and back again. Such things have been happening with more frequency as of late. A lot of it has to do with my general bad luck in, well, pretty much everything. It is also fair to say my general mental and emotional weariness is wearing me down. Grinding me down is more like it. Crushing my bones into a fine powder and letting the loitering birds casually peck at them. Yes, it has been a rough time. It caps of three months of bad times I have largely kept silent about and will, save for thinly veiled lessons learned, continue to do so.

I need something new to focus on. A change of direction. I swear to myself every month I am going to turn over a new leaf with the new calendar page and never really do. Weariness, I tell. It eliminates all semblance of resolve. Nevertheless, I a pretty sure that if I have hit rock bottom yet, it is surely within sight even with my half gone peeper. When you get to that point, you can either move straight up or sideways, but at least you are moving?

So will I start moving up or sideways? Who the heck knows. Right now I am climbing up the walls. Not necessarily a constructive thing to do, but why does every action have to lead to something valuable? There is something to be said for wasting a certain amount of time wallowing in the mud and later referring to it as your Lost Weekend or some such. Look what it did for John Lennon and Harry Nilsson, for crying out loud. Anyway, I have it written down somewhere that I want to turn things around, so if I fail, you can all point to the printed page, shake your heads, and click your tongues in my general direction.

UPDATE: So much for largely keeping quiet about things.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Florida Court of Appeals to Hear Anna Nicole Case

So much for my prediction last week that the appeal would take forever and Anna Nicole Smith's body would be buried long before it and exhumed if necesary. Normally, that is how it works. I guess celebrities get special treatment even after they have joined the choir invisible. A Florida court of appeals will hear the case as to where Anna Nicole's body is to be buried, with oral arguments to be presented tomorrow morning.

At 9:30 AM Wednesday, Justices Barry Stone, Mark Polen and George Shahood of the Fourth District Court of Appeals will hear 20 minutes of arguments from lawyers for Virgie Arthur, Smith's estranged mother, is seeking to bury Anna's body in Texas, and 10 minutes each from attorneys for Howard K. Stern and Larry Birkhead, both of whom are seeking to have Anna's remains buried in the Bahamas.

Perhaps this is a new trend with dead celebrities begun by James Brown. with there be future competeition on how long celebrity corpses can stay above ground before they are finally buried or cremated? how macabre.
Rudy Rising

The headlines are being snatched up by sniping between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as of late, but the GOP side has been buzzing right along as well. Gov. Mitt romney's campaign strategy papers have been leaked, which, if I am correctly counting, is the third campaign to carelessly lose important documents that found their way to the press. I am not a Romney guy, so i am neither enthused nor disappointed at the news. I am a backer of the former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Recent polls have indicated Giuliani has over taken Sen. John McCain as frontrunner for the GOP nomination. While i am happy to read that, I have a few caveats.

One, it is early in the game. Nearly two years out, in fact. Recall Gov. Howard dean was flying higher than than Giuliani much later in the game before he crashed burned.. Second, we just do not know who else is going to jump in the race. While I cannot name a conervative out there who I think could swoop in a snatch away the nomination, that does not mean there is not one. Finally, i imagine the polls are more showing that McCain has alienated the conservative base more than Giuliani's moderate to left positions have. Giuliani may be a prime candidate for buyer's remorse should he remain the frontunner.

But, like I said, it is way too early to take these things very seriously.
Angelina Jolie Joins the Council on Foreign Relations

So much for the CFR being a hive of conspirators and potential Antichrists. (Sorry. I grew up in the Bible Belt. Picking the potential Antichrist is almost as big a sport as college football down here.) Jolie is a tireless humanitarian, a spokesperon the the united nations, and despite all th weirdness in her past, one sharp cookie. I take the CFR at face value rather than any nutty conspiracy theories, so I think she is a goood, honest choice for a new member. Plus, she looks really good in that dress.

Here is the article.

Monday, February 26, 2007

24--"4:00 PM-5:00 PM"

I have to confess tis Bauer family drama was getting on my nerves. It might have been more compelling if it had been the main focus of the season to begin with. But let us all remember that a freaking nuclear bomb has gone off in California, thousands of Americans have been vaporie to itty bitty bit, and there are more bombs out there. Jack’s daddy issues, considerable thought they may be, and whether he is in love with his sister-in-law ought to takea back seat for the sake of drama. Such an incident would make 9/11 look like a fener bender, yet there is no emotional impact because the show seems to have forgotten the bombing. Even people around Los Angeles are acting like nothing happened. Way too freaky for me.

You know what else is freaky? Former Pres. Charles Logan is under house arrest. House arrest for being part of the assassination of Pres. David Palmer. How did that remain a secret? You would think the press woul be digging all over the story, ye it seems to be a mystery to the public. I would imagine a sweetheart deal like that could never be made for a presidential assassin. Casting the implausibility aside for now, Logan knows the location of the Russian General and wants Jack to take him to the Russian consulate. Jack has a heated phone conversation with the President, who is a hard sell about releasing the man who killd his brother, but he acquiesces.

Speaking of the President, Pollack goes through with the assassination attempt. Assad, being the dyed in the wool terrorist that he is, notices and the bomb and screams for everyone to take cover. It blows up in the bunker. It will not be revealed until next week, so skip the rest of this sentence if you wish, but Palmer survived due to Assad’s intervention, although Assad is now dead. The president is incapacitated however, allowing the evil Veep to take over and suspend habeas corpus anyway.

Rating: ** (out of 5)
Who Writes Your Dialogue?

Who Writes Your Dialogue?



Graham Greene
Graham Greene wrote the screenplays to The third Man, Our man in Havana, and The Comedians. "Death's at the bottom of everything, Martins. Leave death to the professionals." You are intelligent, witty, clever, and just a tiny bit cruel. You always seem to say the right thing at the right time. Your way with words is natural effortless. Sometimes you can inadvertantly insult people who aren't used to your unique way of speaking. But don't worry about them, I think you still kick ass.
Take The Quiz Now!Quizzes by myYearbook.com
A Perfect Moment Frozen in Time

Maybe it is my age, maybe it is my health status, or some combination of all circumstances, but I have been very nostalgic as of late. There are constant reminders all over the place even though I am in relatively new and unfamiliar settings. I have this thing, and it has been happening for three years now, in which I am doing some mundane task and suddenly have a realization of something that has irreparably changed in my life. For example, I recall vividly one day last summer making a sandwich for lunch. When I reached for the loaf of bread, it suddenly dawned on me that I will never again hop in the car, run to the store, and buy a loaf of bread. What most would consider an inconvenience, what I would have considered an inconvenience not too long ago, now is something so absent, it literally filled me with a crippling sense of sorrow. Enough of one for making a silly sandwich on some random summer day stick out in my mind.

Theedays that sort of thing still happens, but with another sort of realization popping up from time to time as well. I cannot call them happy thoughts. I would say they are more appropriately labeled bittersweet. They are memories of my youth. Sometimes it is something as frivolous as a favorite toy or cartoon. Other times it something from a family vacation or holiay gathering. I am naturally a cynical person. I can look back at those times just as clearly and point out the faults with them. I can recall my mother bought me that toy because my father got drunk the night before and embarrassed us in public or there was an argument and everyone has quietly taken sides and is passively knocking each other while munching on Thanksgiving turkey. But I do not do that right now. I have had an epiphany.

I look back and see I had two prevailing attitudes about everything. Either I took everything for granted, savoring nothing because I thought the good times would never end or I hhhad aquiet contempt for things, assuming I would one day make the future shine brighter than anything I had previously experienced. Now I have had some rough patches with health, family, and assorted personal issues. No time was perfect, but I realize now that no time was or ever will be perfect. I never realized that was the most fun I would ever have, the best I would ever feel, or the most I would ever be loved. I was constantly dreaming of something beyond that next hill that might never show up, but you could not tell me that at any point. I was an idealist to the core. A dreamer.

Well, I am not anymore. I can pinpoint various times in my life when I lost certain points of idealism, but they are irrelevant for now. Suffice to say I no longer think happiness is marrying the head cheerleader, getting a six figure salary at a law firm, and living in a house on the lake. Those are chasing rainbows and setting myself up for pain and disappointment. No, happiness is a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie hot from the over. Happiness is a good night’s sleep in a comfy bed. Happiness is a kitten rubbing up against your shins. Happiness is recognizing and enjoying these things when they happen even while realizing your dreams are not going to come true or your parents have feet of clay. It takes a special skill that I learned too late. Considering the way I feel emotionally now, I still may not have it down pat.

What comesto mind now are perfect moments frozen in time. Moments in which I cn chip away the bad things and see only the good. It is a relatively new talent and one I wish I had cultivated sooner. You know, the bible says the rain falls on both the just and the unjust. Translated that means bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people and vice versa. I have no earthly idea whether anyone reading this is going to get absolutely every faerie tale dream they ever had come true. Lord knows I have met plenty of folks who seemed to be born with a golden horseshoe up their butts. If so, more power to you. Perhaps you will never realize you have taken anything for granted. Maybe you have even correctly enjoyed it all to the fullest, warts and all. But somebody out there needs to realize, whether you think it will happen or not, that one day you may be sitting in a backroom somewhere with half your eyesight gone and your colon rotting out from under not only wondering what in the world happened, but why you did not enjoy every moment before, even with the aggravations that tagged along with it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Oscars

I did not watch, but I have raad a recap to discover Martin Scorcese won his first Best Director Oscar. Wow. His first? I guess it does not pay to be one of the best working directors in Hollywood years running. Then again, Alfred Hitchcock never won the award.

Jennifer Hudson won for Dreamgirls. Further proof you are better off losing American Idol than winning.

Al Gore won for An Inconvenient Truth. His comprtition was a documentary about Iraq and two exposesattacking Christianity. The Academy must have been frustrated to the point of exploding deciding which one to hoose.

Three hours and forty-nine minutes? Good grief, folks. That is a lot of self-important pomp and circumstance.
Stranger Than Fiction

Genealogists have discovered the lateSen. Strom Thurmond's ancestors owned some of the Rev. Al Sharpton's family. Really. Strom Thurmond's great-great-grandfather's granddaughter had Al Sharpton's great-grandfather as a slave. It is a bit dubious, but there you go.
Charlize Theron

Just because.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

J. J. Abrams Will Direct Star Trek XI

Rumors have flown over the last few weeks that J. J. Abrams would only be the executive producer of Star Trek XI and not direct it. The notion seemed further confirmed when word that Abrams was set to bring Stephen King’s The Dark Tower to the screen. Yesterday, Variety (No link for no subscribers. Sorry.) reports from the man himself that he will direct the next installment of trek.

There is some dispute as to what the movie will precisely be about. It has not even been fully established whether it is a reboot or prequel. The story may revolve around longtime Trek producer Harve Bennett’s idea of Kirk and Spock in their academy days. Others speculate it will be a reboot of the original series with new actors in the established roles. I believe Matt Damon’s name was bandied about for a while, but dismissed by the actor himself, for playing Capt. James T. Kirk.

You know, I for one am not a big fan of either prequels or reboots. George Lucas’ episodes I-III of Star Wars were generally bad, even beyond Jar Jar Binks. Maybe I feel that way because of my childlike fondness for the original trilogy. Nothing Lucas could put on the screen would ever measure up. I can dismiss that rationale when it comes to Star Trek. For one, I am not that emotionally attached to the franchise. Idid not mind Brannon Braga retconning canon history in First Contact and was fully prepared to embrace Enterprise. But the latter did not do what was advertised. It was supposed to show us the Romulan Wars, the brith of the federation, depict the origins of major concepts, and update classic aliens with modern day make up and technology. It did none of those things well.

Maybe Star Trek XI will. I cannot help but feel it will be like the Never Say Never Again James Bond film from the ’80’s where Sean Connery reprised the role in an awful toupee. It is not canon, it was something of an anomaly, and the franchise continued on regardless. The situations are not similar, mind you. The Bond flick was due to a lawsuit in which the creator of perennial villains SPECTRE retained copyright to his creation. But the end result will remain the same. I cannot imagine this being a hit, but at the same time, I do not think it will kill the franchise overall.

Personally, I would like to see some dangling plot threads from the TBG/D9/VOY era resolved in a movie. The Breen are still a mystery. What is the status between the Alpha Quadrant and the Dominion? What about the new political reality of the Alpha Quadrant? Have the Borg been destroyed? Is there any further exploration into the Delta Quadrant? There are probly a ton more. Sign up whichever actors from that era want to reprise their roles and make an omnibus Star Trek film. I think the fans would go for it.
Are You More Cat or Dog?

You Are: 20% Dog, 80% Cat

You are are almost exactly like a cat.
You're intelligent, independent, and set on getting your way.
And there's no way you're going to fetch a paper for anyone!
Live Action Justice League to Hit the Big Screen

Warner Brothers is about to do the nigh impossible. The studio has hired two writers, Michelle and Keiron Mulroney, to draft a screenplay for a live action Justice League movie. I call this nigh impossible for many reasons. I will bet throughout the photosphere, other fans are withholding their cheers for the idea because of the same concerns. Comic book fans are a skeptical lot, especially when it come to seeing our heroes hit the big screen. Comics just do not always translate well.

The JL is an enormously bulky team. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash-- who knows which characters would appear in the movie. Considering there are plans for either a new movie or a sequel featuring all those characters san Green Lantern, who does not get diddly, one wonders how they could be featured. I cannot imagine Christian Bale playing Batman or Brendan Roth reprising Superman outside of their respective ongoing franchises, even putting aside the movie they would probably demand. Does that mean the movie would not be part of shared continuity? Comic fans can be very anal about such things.

Effort to bring the JL to the screen have been mixed. The Super Friends in all its incarnations brings back fond memories, but they were a lot better when I was seven than looking at them these days. The live action Legends of the Supr Heroes pilot from the ‘70’s was so bad, even bootleg videos of it sit untouched at comic book conventions. The best version was Paul Dini’s shared universe Justice League which aired on Cartoon Network in recent years. Hopefully the movie, should it come to pass, will be a lot like that.

Thing is, with such a huge, expensive cast of characters, one would think the movie would have to be animated. A few years ago I would have said the ame thing about Transformers, but it looks like they pulled that one off in spectacular fashion for asummer blockbuster. I do hope this is an accurate movie, not campy, and can avoid the leather jacket colness that plqued the X-Men franchise. I also wish Paul Dini were writing it.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Flashes Before Your Eyes

It is a little late, but here is my music video for last week's episode of Lost.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Britney Spears' Breakdown Continues

Britney Spears’ breakdown appears to be getting worse. I would not normally cover such a spectacle on the Eye, but for whatever reason it seems to be a sad commentary on celebrity. I am not sure I it is a matter of our celebrity worship taking its toll, our desire to build people up just to watch them break down, or if it is all too much, too fast for Spears herself. She is only 25. Pretty much a child herself and she has been in the spotlight since 1998. For me that seems like a lifetime ago considering the things that have happened in the interim. It has to be comparable for her. Roller coasters ain’t always fun, folks.

She has bounced in and out of rehab three times in the last two weeks for what I assume is alcohol addiction. She has yet to stay more than a day or so. There are reports she escaped one night she escaped and attempted suicide by walking into oncoming traffic before rescued by a staffer. Later she supposedly grabbed a bottle of Xanax and threatened to overdose. Whether either or both is true is questionable. The sources were tabloid in nature. But if so, both incidents are not real attempts at suicide. Anyone who really wants to kill themselves uses a much more reliable method. Drivers would have seen her coming and stopped in time. Xanax probably would not do much more than make her barf it all up. These were attention getters. A cry for help.

Like a lot of messed up people, she has no idea she is self-defeating. Theshaved had was odd, but not really a sign off instability. Stars do strange things all the time. But now it is difficult to efend her emotional instability. It stems from the threat of Kevin Federline taking her children away. If I had to guess, I would say he has threatened to reveal more abot her parenting skills aside from her dropping her child months ago and causing a skull fracture. She has gone to is home to discuss the issue and had a further violent breakdown when he ignored her. Spears decided to take her fristration out on a photographer chasing her. Hence the notion public scrutiny on her life is a major root cause of her problem.

The strange thing is that Kevin Federline has gone from being a cad to looking like his children’s salvation. That is sad, because he has not changed from his partying, white trash ways. It is jut that no one cares enough what he isup to to watch. Just like Anna Nicole smith, the biggest victim in all this is the helpless children. They are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. Minie is the generation of divorced parents. We are screwed up big time because of it. I shudder to think the cycle is renewing itself.
Anna Nicole Smith to Be Buried Next to Son

The body of Anna Nicole Smith has been awarded to the guardian ad litem for her five month old daughter, Dannielynn. The judge in the hearing further ordered the body to be buried in the Bahamas next to her son. Thus ends, barring what will probably be a futile appeal by Anna Nicole smith’s mother, the drawn out affair. Smith will be long since buried before the Court of Appeals hears any further proceedings on the matter.

Truth be told, this should have been a lot more cut and dry. The law is pretty clear on next of kin decisions when the deceased left no clear indication of her wishes. The testimony was dragged out for three days when it could have been done in one. Honestly, it was even unusual for the judge to allow the body to remain in the morgue as opposed to being buried before the trial and exhumed should the ruling warrant. While the judge had leeway to handle things the way he did, there is now and will be a lot of second guessing whether things were done as expediently as possible.

The worst part of all this? Little five month old Dannielynn has the “responsibility” of burying her mother before she has even learned to walk. That is a rough start to life and I imagine it is not going to get any better. The presiding judge got emotional as he urged both sides to work together in the rest of these matters for the sake of Dannielynn. He knows from experience how unlikely that is to happen. So do I.
The Earth to Stand Still Again

It is still in the concept stage at this point, but 20th Century Fox has set a May 9th 2008 date for a remake of The Day the Earth Stood still. Earth is one of my all time favorite movies and, along with The Time Machine and War of the Worlds, one of the three best science fiction films of the 1950’s. The trio stand out as breaths of fresh air in an era full of drive in creature features with bug eyed rubber aliens controlling giant insects or mad scientists using gorillas to kidnap bikini clad beach bunnies. Not that that there I anything wrong with chasing ater bikini clad beach bunnies. I am all for it myself.

But The Day the earth Stood Still was head and shoulders above that. It involved a humanoid alien named Kaatu coming to an Earth on the brink of destroying itself with a warning: do not take your conflicts into space or their will be dire consequences. To prove his point, Gort stops all electric power on Earth for thirty minutes, hence the film's title. The theme was clear. Man is a violent, uncivilized creature. It sounds heavy handed to one who has not seen the movie, but it works on so many levels. The movie abounds with paranoia, religious allegory, and Cold war ears. It is a snapshot of the time period.

Hence the reason I am skeptical of a remake. Not just that I am partial to the original. I am, and I will admit the thought of updating it makes me cringe with reminders of the recent War of the Worlds remake and its thinly veiled commentary on the war in Iraq. I can see Gort coming to Earth to dismantle our WMD for our own good, which would totally destroy the point of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Maybe that would resonate with some. Evidently War of the Worlds did. But I am in a different mindset. We are not in a Cold war etting any longer. Today our threat comes from cave dwellers in the desert who make senseless acts of violence in pursuit of a “holy” cause. How can you make that theme stick with a plot like Earth’s? I really do not think you can.

I am not looking forward to this movie. At this point, no director or even writer is attached, so things could still full apart there in mercurial Hollywood. I hope so. Perhaps someone will come along and decide asequel is better than a remake. A few years ago when plans cranked up for a Forbidden Planet remake, brainstorms about a sequel instead killed the idea. No one wanted to go into the uncharted waters of exploring the aftermath of events. It would probably happen here, too, but one wonders. What would Gort say about us now, 56 years after his warning?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lost--"Stranger in a Strange Land"

Count me in as underwhelmed. The promos advertised three big mysteries would be revealed. Charlton Cruse and Damon Lindelof came out in this week’s pod cast cast and said ABC was exaggerating. Expect only one major reveal and two small ones. I imagine they said so rather sheepishly, because this was not anything monumental in the slightest. As near as I can tell, the big reveal was the meaning of Jack’s tattoo. I will ht on that in a minute. The second was Karl’s revelation the Others have taken the children and given them a better life. Third was that the missing flight attendant Cindy is alive and apparently the children’s nursemaid. Not much new or exciting there in any case.

Juliet is in big trouble for killing Pickett. The Others put her on trial and plan to execute her for it. Ben’s incision becomes infected, but at this point, Jack has no intentions of helping him. His stubbornness goes on until he has an encounter with Alex who explains Juliet killed Pickett so Kate and Sawyer could escape. Then he changes his mind and agrees to watch over Ben if he will commute Juliet’s sentence. He does so. They all gather in a boat and leave the Alactraz Island. Jack and Juliet hint they are forming an alliance because they have both been blackmailed into things with promises of going home that were reneged on.

A few odd touches here. Cindy shows up at Jack’s cage with the missing kids. They all want to “watch.” The kids seem like zombies, but that is never explained. (Surprise, surprise.) Isabel, the old woman from Desmond’s trip back in time last episode shows up to interrogate jack. That was strange. Yet another mysterious Other who seems to be in charge even though we have never seen or heard of her until now. Finally, Sawyer and Karl talk about his broken heart over Alex. He doe not believe he will ever see her again. Kate has an ax to grind the whole episode, but is it guilt over leaving Jack behindd or that he knows she slept with Sawyer? Maybe both?

Jack’s flashbacks were not much. He is in Thailand after his divorce and the bruhaha of his father losing his medical license and falling off the wagon. He meets Bai Ling. They have sex. They break up. He gets a tatoo that says, “He walks among us, but he is not one of us.” Then he gets beaten up by Bai Ling’s friends. The end. Well, other than Isabel getting excited about the tattoo as though it is significant. If it is, I missed it.

Rating: ** (out of 5)
Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who

This is not the best photo, but it is the first shot of John Barrowman as Capt. Jack Harkness and David Tennant as the Doctor from the third series of Doctor Who. The show will not begin airing until late march or early April and we will not be seeing the good Captain until June or July at the earliest, but this should whet fan's appetites for a while.
McCain v. Giuliani

Why is Rudy Giuliani running ahead of John McCain in national polls among Republicans? It defies certain logic. McCain is clearly more conservative. They both have some oddities in their past regarding marriages and the like that put them on even ground in that department, but the politics is the thing and you would have to assume Red State America would prefer McCain’s record to the former mayor’s.

Or maybe not these days. We are at war. I think with the Iraq morass many have forgotten there is another enemy out there who has been stalking us for over a decade and has not given upo. The media may not say much about the national mood about fighting terrorism, but I will bet it is still strong. Waning, of course, since people forget even the biggest tragedies, but still there. Because it is still there, they want someone tough on crime in the White House, believing that toughness translates to tough on terrorists as well.

It pains me to say Giuliani has the edge in that regard. McCain has been to war and survived being a POW (Mercy, did we not hear that every waking minute during the 2000 campaign?) but lasting through such an experience proves personal strength, not how big a stick one would carry as commander-in-chief. The conservative electorate seems to have come to that conclusion. Or perhaps they just do not trust McCain anymore. I can see why. In 2000 he burnt all sorts of bridges in running as a maverick. Now he is mending some and pretending he never burnt the others. It is telling that conservatives are more willing to support a candidate who never supported overturning Roe v. Wade like Giuliani over someone who has flip flopped from being pro-life in the Senate to pro-choice on the 2000 campaign trail and back again to pro-life in is 2008 run.

I guess it all does come dow to honesty. Who can you trust with our security? Have we now moved into a time when honesty about a candidate’s social beliefs is a litmus test for his honesty as opposed to a reason to support or oppose a candidate for his policy ideas? Very interesting shift in the in conservatives’ eyes in the role of government away from the neoconservative views espoused over the last seven years then A welcome change, I might add.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Scooter Libby Trial Question

The Scooter Libby trial is on the verge of heading to the jury, so we may have a decision shortly. I have not bee able to get much vibe from mainstream press coverage regarding how this one will go. You may recall I like to take a stab at the outcome of major cases. Since beginning the blog, I have gone from Martha Stewart to Harlan Ellison v. AOL to Scott Peterson to Michael Jackson to Anna Nicole Smith, etc. My record is far from spotless and for whatever reason, I skipped the Duke lacrosse case. Then again, so did the prosecutor. But there just is not much here for me to make a good guess.

I have skimmed a few blogs that have a “man” on the insides, but I have found them to be incredibly partisan and of little value. The left is readying a noose and swear Dick Cheney is next. The right is just as assured there is no case there. Both have spun events to their liking. The failure of Cheney to testify was either because Libby is in the clear and did not need him or there is no reason to further antagonize a jury that is ready to throw the book at the evil Libby. It all depends on how you filled out you last ballot.

It looks as though I will have to stick to my previous, very safe predictions. Either Libby walks because this is all much ado about nothing or his is the first pardon Bush signs in January 2009. You can safely count on one or the other. Maybe both. You never can be too careful these days.
Reese Witherspoon XVII

Reese Witherspoon was out and about a couple days ago getting coffee and looking good without that no talent albatross, Ryan Phillippe. Have i mention his new movie, Breach, opened to lukewarm box office? If I did not, it was a terrible oversight on my part because his new movie, Breach, opened to lukewarm box office. Reese, on the other hand, is smoking hot in these photos. But i did not have to mention i felt that way, did I?
There are more celebrity photos on the sidebar.
The Curse of Lost

I have joked in the past about how many bad things have happened to the cast of Lost over the last couple seasons. Josh Holloway and his wife robbed at gun point, Michelle Rodriguez jailed for DUI, several others having run ins with authorities, and Evangeline Lilly's house burning down were the biggies. It fit in with the theme of "everything happens for a reason."

But good grief, now two crew members suffered fatal heart attacks over the last week. It will not be too long before someone seriously tarts talking about bad karma surrounding the show.
In the Zone

Besides engaging in deep slumber, playing the occasion Monopoly matc, and contemplating Britney Spears’ newly shorn head, I spent some time watching The Twilight Zone. I love that show and many good episodes are online if you know where to look. Saturday night, I discovered my favorite episode of all time. Most people will pick from among the most famous: “To Serve Man,” “Eye of the Beholder,” “Time Enough at Last,” or “It’s a Good Life,” but my favorite is a nod to science fiction fans tucked into the final season.

At that point in the series, Rod serling said he was so overworked writing scripts he could no longer differentiate between good and bad ideas. It could not have been too difficult. Rod Serling was and still is one of the best writers in the history of television. Perhaps “Uncle Simon” was eventually flagged as a bad idea by Serling. I do not know. But it is the best episode of the series as far as I am concerned.

The story revolves around Simon Polk, a crotchety old scientist. His neice, Barabara, came to live with him years ago when he fell ill. Despite his abusive, insulting ways, she stayed on for twenty-five years assuming when the old man dies, he will leave his wealth to her. The pair openly despise each other. Barbara freely admits she is waiting for him to die and Simon says (Heh.) the only reason he is clinging to life is to spite her. During an argument, Simon falls down the stairs. Barbara lets him die there at the bottom in a crumpled heap. The will states she gets everything on one condition:. She has to look after Simon’s latest and best creation-- a robot.

But not just any robot. It is Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet. Robbie has been a staple of science fiction since 1958. Aside from appearing in two other episodes of The Twilight Zone, Robbie has been on Lost in Space, Mork & Mindy, and made a cameo in the movie Gremlins. He was also part of the basketball team opposing our heroes in The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island, which I am ashamed to admit I sat through once in my misspent youth. Robbie is not in the private collection of a very wealthy science fiction fan and will probably not make any further appearances without someone shelling out some major shekels for him.

The o. Henry twist is thae robot begins to take on Simon’s abusive characteristics. As the episode progresses, he becomes more insufferable. Barbara has no choice but to put up with him or all the money and property goes bye bye. The robot constantly demands to see Simon’s lawyer to complain about Barbara’s attitude and service. The ending has that special dash of dark humor, the comeuppance of deserving folks, and the ambiguity of just who the good guy really is that appeals to my cynical nature.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Battlestar Galactica--"A Day in the Life"

I like the interspersing of personal, bottle episodes in between the slam bang action of the over all arc. From time to time, particularly when I am in a certain mindset, they sting uncomfortably. Here was one of those episodes. I guess these days most everyone relates to divorced families, alcoholism, and animosity between parents an children. Honestly the only time I ever encountered people who did not was at regent university. It added a new kind of pain: being damaged goods. Count that on top of personal demons no one understood, add in a severe decline in health, stir liberally, and you have an uncomfortable television viewing experience. Not that the episode was bad. Far from it.

It is am. Adama’s wedding anniversary. He was and still is deeply in love with his wife, but it is unrequited. He was away on his military career often. An absentee husband and father. When the marriage finally broke up, lee an his brother stayed behind with her. She fell into alcoholism, becoming an absentee mother. Lee grew up essentially with neither parent. It turned him into the screwe up guy he is today with bad relationships and perhaps not following his dream. You know what burns most? President Roslin wants Lee to organize legal scholars in decided how bet to try Baltar. Lee wanted to be a lawyer at one point just like his grandfather.

Ouch.

Not much is resolved. Lee agrees to go through with it, but Adama still plans to mope about on his anniversary from here to eternity. All this despite talking tenderly about forever with Roslin. The “B” story featured another troubled marriage that turn out better than thr Adamas. Tyrol and Callie are strained by their new baby. When they are nearly killed during a daring rescue operation, they both vow to make things better for the three of them. Good luck with that. I am no longer much of any kind of optimist, on television or real life.

Rating: *** (out of 5)
24--"3:00 PM-4:00 PM"

The chase continues on foot between Phillip Bauer’s men and Milo, with Marilyn in tow. They hide out in an industrial park when they are finally ambushed. Milo is shot, back Jack manages to intervene in the nick of time. No surprise there, right? He confronts his sister-in-law as to why she set them up for a Russian General. All it takes his a harsh talking to (What, no torture?) for her to spill her guts about Phillip kidnapping her son. After reporting in, Jack heads off on what he calls a personal mission. Your family squabbles should be so brutal. It gets worse when the boy hears Phillip threaten to kill him over the phone.

The conspiracy in the White House bunker deepens as well. Tom refuses to go along with the plot to assassinate the president and replace him with the more hard line Veep. Despite that, he still works closely with the president and refuses to reveal the plot. He was earlier making the same argument as the conspirators: that the president was endangering the American people by not suspending habeas corpus and rounding up Muslim suspects. Evidently he deserves moe credit than we previously gave him. Tom draws a line on how far he will go to preserve “the American way” when it previously appeared he would not. It costs him dearly.

The CTU team heads to the proper address to find the Russian General, but the place is bare. Jack and Marilyn head out to find Phillip and discover Josh is now his hostage. Jack offers to trade himself for Josh. Phillip agrees if Jack comes unarmed. After the exchange, Phillip reveals all. He was blackmailed by the Russian who knew about his part in the assassination of the first President Palmer. Phillip had no idea (supposedly) the nukes would be sold to Fayed. The only way to escape it all is to kill Jack and run. It appears he will do so execution style, but slinks away behind Jack’s back before going through with it. Jack searches about for him to no avail. He picks up his cell phone with a new number on it. He calls and discovers his old nemesis, Charles Logan on the other end. They need to talk.

Rating: *** (out of 5)
Intuition and Control

Blogging has been lighter than usual, but I have the same old excuse. I have been feeling under the weather since Friday. I was loathe to write about it. Frankly, I think it is either becoming cliché (Sick again? What the heck is the matter with him?) or fishing for sympathy (Good grief. What an attention whore.) I hate being unoriginal and could not care less about sympathy, so I am just throwing it out there by way of explanation. Read into it whatever motivation you choose.

I finally wound up eating cereal and a banana this morning at four AM. As usual, I was tip toeing around in the dark and dodging the cat at every turn. I can almost lip a coin to determine her attitude when I am not feeling well. Half the time she takes a wary look at me and stomps off, occasionally shaking a hind foot in contempt. Tired of the same old, same old, I assume. Other times she is like a shadow. It is those times which puzzle me the most. It is said cats have a sixth sense that knows things we can only register on the periphery. Ever get the feeling someone just stepped on your grave? Supposedly cats know who did. Or they just enjoy screwing with us. The latter theory often has more merit in my humble opinion.

I managed to sleep through most of the weekend. Finegrine is one fine drug, let me tell you. I was not much in the mood for concentration when I was awake, but I did manage to squeeze in a couple of games of computer Monopoly. I have found playing against a computer opponent, either on a PC game or on the old NES (my favorite and still the best. Sigh. Those were the days.) to be much more fun than with human players. Some of that stems from playing against fiscal conservatives back in my student government/College Republican days. The rest is probably because I am so darn antisocial. Maybe that is what the cat is in tune with.

I did stop long enough to note Britney Spears’ breakdown. Some have said she is going crazy. Others say it was a cry for help. I do not think ither is true. Some women want to conirm they are beautiful without all the trappings of beauty. What better way to prove that than to shave your head? You will see it all exposed that way: pasty white skin, bumps and riges, big ears ears poking out-- all of it exposed for the world to see. There is another possibility. It is all about control. I haved shaved my head a couple of times over the last three years. It is something I never would have done in “the real world,” but now it is something I have control over and I like to assert it from time to time.

I will bet that is what Britney Spears is doing. Her life is spiraling out of control and her appearance is the only thing she feels she has power over. A lot of girls decide to turn to bulimia to control their weight instead. I would say shaving one’s head is abit healthier than that, no? Heck, for all we know, it is just too many bad dye jobs. She is a bit of a drama queen, after all.
The Other Senator Clinton

Top Democrats, probably the same ones who debated whether the 22nd Amendment would allow him to serve as 2004 Vice-Presidential nominee, would like Bill Clinton appointed to his wife’s Senate seat if she becomes president. Here is a serious case of counting your chickens before the eggs have hatched, but I also think Bill is probably to busy making money hand over fist (and chasing tail?) to bother with such a thing.

The situation is not without precedence:
Bill Clinton, who was once dubbed America’s “first black president” by author Toni Morrison, would not be the first former president to serve in Congress. John Quincy Adams had a long career in the House after his presidency, and Andrew Johnson served briefly in the Senate after a stint in the White House. Johnson and Clinton are the only two presidents in history to have been impeached by the House. Both were acquitted by the Senate.
Granted, Bill is a poly wonk and formidable debater who may very well miss public service. It is pretty much the only career he has had his adult life, save for a shot time as a law professor. But I think this I wishful thinking. I also cannot fathom why the left is so enamored with the man they would desperately want this to happen.

Regardless, there is going to be pressure to appint a black or hispanic or female senator, not to mention Hillary does not want Bill hogging her spotlight, which he most certainly would under the circumtances. Ain't gonna happen, folks.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Which Lost Character Are You?







Which Lost Character Are You?




You Are Sawyer. You're a realist, not an idealist. Sarcasm, wit, and leers run rampant whenever you are around. Whether it's making a racist remark or shooting a polar bear, you're sure to leave a lasting impression on those around you. Add a cigarette and some beard stubble, and the formula for redneck charm is complete.
Take this quiz!








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Saturday, February 17, 2007

House Rebukes Troops Surge Plan

For absolutely no purpose beyong waving the white flag. I will admit the war in Iraq is a complete disaster and I have no real suggestions on how to fix things. I like the idea of an oil revenue sharing plan, then splitting the country along ethnic lines into three sovereign states, but I imagine that is politically unpalatable.

I am also in the "When in doubt, win the war" school of thought. telling our troops there efforts are futile and we do not support them even though they are risking their lives on the front line is doing more harm than good. We are starting to look like cowards here. One of the big reason 9/11 occurred is because we kept backing off instead of responding to terrorist acts as a causys belli.

We are now in line to embolden terrorists to try another 9/11 type attack. If we do not gauge their eyes out in Iraq here and now, we will pay for it dearly later.
Britney Spears is Bald

Holy crap is that scary looking. Brittney Spears walked into a beauty salon and emanded her hand be shaved. when the beautician efused, Spears grabbed the razor and did it herself. The question is whether the girl is going nuts or has just damaged her hair from too many dye jobs and is starting over. Considering her wild partyin ways since dumping Kevin Federline and the fact she checked herself into rehab and then out again a day later, I am thinking the former.

Either way, the Lex Luthor look does not suit her. Who would want to be mistaken for Sinead O'Coonor?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Lost Ratings

The move to 10 PM may have gotten Lost out of the juggernaut Amercain Idol‘s path, but it may not have done much good. The ratings for the last two episodes, which have both been the two best of the season, generated 24.5 million veiwersfor “Not in Portland” and 12.8 million for “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” Th show is not in trouble by any means. It is still the top rated among the coveted 18-49 year old bracket, but it is disappointing.

Apologists are looking at several explanations. The first is the long hiatus drove viewers off and they have not come back. Combine that with the relatively mediocre opening miniseries and you have a recipe for disaster. Second. The move to 10 may have lost (no pun intended) the early to bed viewers. Lost has bounced from 8 to 9 to 10 since its premiere in 2004. You cannot epect casual fans to follow it everywhere. Finally, a lot of folks are watching it on the internet whenever they want. ABC.com offers it after 1 PM on Thursdays for free if you will watch an advertisement first and there is, of course, tormenting. Those viewers are not counted in the ratings.

I fear the network might go through with the plan of holding off season four until the spring 2008 and ai all 22 episodes in a row. At this point, I think that would make even more casual fans drop the show. Another J. J. Abrams series, Alias was killed pretty much the same way. I would hate to see that happen to Lost. Like Lost, Alias has a story arc that had to be rushed to conclusion because of cancellation that left fans disappointed. Lost has an even more elaborate ar that would not work well being rushed.
Which Star Trek Character Are You?

Your results:
You are Jean-Luc Picard
































Jean-Luc Picard
85%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
75%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
75%
Will Riker
65%
Deanna Troi
60%
Spock
54%
Geordi LaForge
50%
Mr. Scott
50%
Worf
45%
Chekov
45%
Data
45%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
25%
Uhura
20%
Beverly Crusher
15%
Mr. Sulu
0%
A lover of Shakespeare and other
fine literature. You have a decisive mind
and a firm hand in dealing with others.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Aaron Eckhart & The Dark Knight

Aaron Eckhart, who recently starred in Thank You for Smoking, one of my favorite satires in recent memory, is in final talks to play Gotham City District Attorney Harvey ent in the sequel to Batman Begins. Harvey Dent was scarred in a courtroom accident, loses his mind with grief, and becomes Two Face, a villain obsessed with anything relating to the number two, pairs, or twins, etc. I think he is a good choice, actually. he can play both professional (as Dent) and manic (as Two Face.) Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight will not hit the silver screen until 2008, so we have a while before we find out if I am right.
As the Country Shivers

Nothing is going on. It is a slow news day. I am guessing you figured that out by the sole post today relating to Enterprise. The show was picked up by the Sci Fi Channel which aired a four block marathon every Monday night. They have already preempted it for a Psyche marathon. Psyche being a fairly big hit for sister network, USA.. I am not sure what the motivation was, but ratings have to be a factor in there somewhere. Enterprise could barely manage 2 million viewers there towards the end. You know a show is bad when even the diehard Trekkies refuse to watch.

I cannot get into Psyche. I put it up there with Heroes as a show I should like but just cannot. Perhaps I have not given it a fair shot, but I am ambivalent about investing more time in it. It reminds me a lot of Monk, the show it is paired with on USA. I like Tony Shaloub. He is a great character actor. I even liked Monk for a while, but it is so formulaic and stale now. I think it is being awarded Emmys out of habit now.

Interesting that for all the television coverage I do here, I really do not watch that much and like even less. Too bad for the Eye’s sake. What I do write about brings in big hits. Speaking of which, my hits have been on the upswing in the new year. I cannot tell what is different, but I hope I can keep it up.Is the cold and ice keeping everyone inside and at their computers?
Which Enterprise Character Are You?



You scored as Jonathan Archer. You are like Captain Archer of the Starship Enterprise!



Jonathan Archer

92%

Malcolm Reed

67%

Charles "Trip" Tucker

42%

T'pol

42%

Porthos

25%

Phlox

8%

What Star Trek Enterprise Character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lost--"Flashes Before Your Eyes"

I liked this episode a lot. It was different and engrossing. I would call it something of a mind twister similar to “Dave” from last season, but much more enjoyable. Part of my attachment here is my current mindset. The episode was totally about fatalism, the inevitability of things happening, and whether they happen for a reason. I think I dwell too much on those thoughts lately, but I cannot help myself. I have all ideas it will spur on more contemplation on sleepless nights over the next few days. But that is something for another time and you are probably not interested anyway. Let me get on with dissecting the thing for now.

Desmond returns to camp to find Charlie and Hurley going through the missing Sawyer’s tent. He summons the pair to Locke and Sayid still in the jungle where they learn Eko is dead. Locke advises them to keep a brave face lest the other Lostaways panic about the black smoke monster. Suddenly, Desmond gts a wild hair and runs to the beach,. He dives into the water and swims out to save the drowning Claire. No one else knew she was even in trouble, but Desmond foresaw it. Charlie shows his insecurities and opts to get Desmond drunk to find out exactly how Desmond knew Claire was drowning when he was a good mile from the shore. The plan does not go smoothly as Charlie angers the drunken Desmond into attacking him. Thus begins the strangest flashback sequence since “The Other 48 Days.”

Desmond sees himself lying on the floor of Penelope’s home after he has fallen off a ladder painting. I am certain the scene was purely for symbolism, as it is never fleshed only. The ed paint (blood on his hands?) is very prominent. The next day Desmond approaches Charles Widmore under the guise of looking for a job, but really to ask his blessing in marrying Pen. He refuses, telling Desmond he is wrong on every level. Distraught, Desmond leaves the office and runs into Charlie as a street performer. He recognizes Charlie and remembers the island even though none of that has happened yet. Throughout the rest of the episode, Desmond finds reminders of the island up until he is talked into marrying Pen anyway by an old professor of his. But the lady at the jewelry store refuses to sell him the ring. She tells him his future is already written. He will not marry Pen.

They go for a walk during which she eplain that his path is inevitable. He cannot marry Pen, he cannot avoid the boat race, and he cannot avoid landing on the island. Pushing that button is the only important thing he will ver do in life. She explais to him that the universe has a way of course correcting. Things are inevitable no matter how much you try to change them. Desmond takes it to heart. He breaks up with Pen and storms off to a bar to get very, very drunk. While there he is knocked unconscious by an unruly customer and awaken after the Sawn Hatch explosion. Did the explosion cause his hallucination? We are left wondering. We go right back to the moment he was attacking Charlie. The situation defuses. Desmond reveals he can see the future and he was not saving Claire. He was saving Charlie both times. First, he would have been electrocuted by the lightning. Second, he would have drowned swimming out to save her. But Desmond tells him the universe hasway of course correcting. No matter what, Charlie is going to die.

I usually like to cut these episodes to ribbons after recapping them, but right now I see too much reflecting in my own life to do that properly. I will say this: watching the episode will make you think hard about the decisions you have made in life and whether any of them mattered in the grand scheme of things. Poor Desmond is buffeted by fate just like we all are. Unlike most of us, he has had the lesson reinforced painfully.

Rating: **** (out of 5)
Al Franken Runs for Senate

Comedian and radio personality Al Franken has thrown his hat into the political ring. The liberal Franken has decided to run for the Senate. It should come as no surprise. Franken moved his family back to his old home state last year and recently ended his radio show (although I believe ratings were sagging) in preparation. If nominated, Franken will face Sen. Norm Coleman, a pol I have spoken well of in the past, particularly for his efforts to reform the United Nations.

Franken is a definite liberal and has a decent shot at winning in leftist Minnesota. The state has made some odd choices in the past. Not only did it elect a former wrestler, Jesse Ventura governor, but on a more mainstream level, former Sen. Rod Grams was one of the most conservative senators of his time. With that in mind, you cannot count Coleman out just yet. (Thankfully.) Franken can be a very thoughtful and articulate pundit and expect to see more of that side on the campaign trail even though there is likely to be a media circus. Maybe even a renewal of his silly feud with Bill O’Reilly.

I recall back in his Saturday Night Live days, Franken was had a sketch around the holidays in 1979 about what to call the ‘80’s. The ‘70’s were the Me Decade, so what about the new one? Franken insisted it was going to be The Al Franken Decade. It was not, but it looks like he is hoping to try and make it happen again 28 years later.
Jessica Simpson XXVII

Since it is Valentine's Day, I assume there is a fair number of lonely heart guys out there currently scouring the internet for photos of their favorite celebrities. Jessica simpson has got to be near the top of the search list. at least she seems to be a popular search term for the Eye. That and "boobs." "Boobs" is big here, in more ways than one. Here is proof: some of the latest from Ms. Simpson. I hope Jon Mayer does not find out.


There are more celebrity photos on the sidebare.
Valentine's Day

I could be cynical here and tell you that Valentines Day has been perverted from its original intent into a massive plot by Madison avenue to sell greeting cards and candy which leads to divorce lawyers and top dollar diets plans. (Trickle down economics, folks. Somewhere up there, Ronald Reagan weeps with joy.) But I am not going to do that. Why? The main reason is I am backlogged with my cynicism list and I hate to skip over so many deserving topics just because it is a holiday. The second reason is that love is strange, hard to find, and even harder to keep. There is no reason to kill the spirit of those who have found it. See? I have a heart. It is pure granite, but it is there.

I have given out and received cards, candy, and stuffed animals over the years. The relationships I was marking varied in degrees over the years. One constant is they were never constant. All life is in flux and never more so than when high emotions are involved. Throw in sex and you really have a volatile mess. I have in the past done foolish things for love, but most often tempered it all with a heavy dose of realism. I knew where I stood in the world and I was fine with it.. I resented to insensitive idiots who occasionally felt the need to point it out as though it were plain as the nose on their face, so why the heck would I be offended by their mentioning it, but that is another song and dance. I have spent my time, as with many other things, as an observer of other people. I learned a lot of things that way. The primary one is the surest way to combat envy is to watch what people actually do with the things you think you want.

It takes the perspective of time. Presumptuous, I know, to claim I have that at the ripe old age of thirty, but bear with me. Perspective and a sense of closure are an eye opening combination. But if you have a healthy dose of skepticism in you-- and I hope you do --you may consider this rationalization. For every point there is a counterpoint. Never anything particularly clear or efinitive. The fact reinforces my point if you really think about it, but that is the beauty of being an observer rather than a participant. I am under no illusions. Ever wonder why so many prophets were melancholy, not just Jeremiah? Because they saw it all but could not do anything about it.

I will confess I have not seen healthy relationships in my family, so I am incurably pessimistic about them. We were a cold, do your own thing bunch who stuck togther as a matter of convenience. When the convenience was not there anymore, we left. I did, too, so I am not pointing fingers and judging. In fact, hindsight says I should have left and stayed gone, so instead of regretting what I did do, I wish I had done it sooner. I would be better off now. My motivations go well beyond the scope I want here, so that is yet another song and dance for a future play list. It barely scratches the surface, but for now, let me say that often adults can act a immaturely, amorally, and as selfishly hedonistic as teenagers.

From junior high, when I watched 12 year olds write such an such love such and such on their Hello Kitty notebooks to college and even law school, where I saw girls in their mid to late twenties giggle at showing off their engagement rings to jealous friends, I have thought the trappings of what we consider love were silly. Thesad part is most people do not outgrow it before it is too late. So many young guys want the pretty, but shallow cheerleader while so many girls are in hot pursuit of the football team captain who drives a sports car without any perspective about what life is going to be like in twenty years. Or even less than that. I have visited friends who got married right out of college or high school and marvel at how different their lives are from what they envisioned way back when. Mortgaged up to their eyeballs, getting fat, a dissatisfied wife with stretch marks spending most of her time in the kitchen or laundry room while two screaming children chase each other around the house with ninja swords. Not to say they are not satisfied with that, but it makes my sitting in my underwear, eating Fig Newtons, and watching television in total quiet look good. Furthermore, I have seen so many people finally break and divorce after 15-20 years that I do not consider any degree of happiness to be reliable for the long haul.

The best love is not eros. It is the unconditional agape love. It is the love that makes an elderly husband change his Alzheimer’s suffering wife’s diaper. It is the love that prompts a stepfather to adopt his stepchild and genuinely mean it. It is about maturity and sacrifice and recognizing each others flaws while working around them because for better or for worse is what you promised. It does not happen often. Human nature being what it is, it may be an idealized vision that does not happen at all. But if does, sometime, somewhere, even in the rarest of instances, it is worth celebrating today. Even one tiny candle can light up the dark.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

MySpace Mishap

For whatever reason I cannot fathom, I was locked out of my old MySpace account because it swore for five days the e-mail address I have been using since I signed up in October 2005 is not in the database. There was absolutely no way, I was finally told, that the address would be accepted, my password retrieved, or my page deleted now because of my apparent nefarious plot to supplant the identity of Jamie and take over his page. I assured them adamantly that I was, in fact, Jamie, and if I were going to assume someone else’s identity, I would a) Choose someone much better and b) run a much better con job than stealing a MySpace page.

I was finally advised to make a salute. I had never heard of this, so I asked what I had to do. I was told to take a photo of myself holding a newspaper and make sure the date is clearly visible so some customer service flunky, who is probably some shaggy haired, college drop out, wearing a Cheetos stained Fall Out Boy tee shirt who got rich off MySpace stock even though his biggest accomplishment in life is being a Snot Rocket Distance Champion in high school can compare the two and decide it actually is me. Should I also include a ransom note or deman PLO prisoners be released from Tel Aviv prisons? Ahem. Needless to say, I was more inclined to send a salute of the one fingered variety.

So I started over. I am not sure what went on with my old page, but I checked it out this morning to find a comment from someone who is not on my friends list advertising a rival social networking site. I never had that happen before I was locked out, so I am sure there is a correlation. Heaven only knows what it will take to get the page deleted, if it ever will. I will drop an e-mail to customer service on a regular basis until they do so just so I will leave them alone. I have noted that worked in the past. If you have ever been screwed over seemingly been screwe over at random, you probably have not. It was just someone, somewhere who wanted someone you barely know to shut the heck up.

The link to the page has been changed, but aside from losing the comments and blog entries, it is virtually identical to my first page. Still, I wanted to vnt about the whole affair, so here it is.
The Anna Nicole Smith Paternity Parade

Depending upon whether you believe the California or Texas jurisdiction is correct (the Supreme Court ruling was on a technical matter. The case was remanded.), Dannilyn is an orphan possibly worth $ 400 + million - $ 1.6 billion or more. Money like that does funny things to people. Families will rip each other apart or fake being closer together. But I repeat myself. You had to figure people were going to come out of the woodworks to lay claim to the cash. Since it is a package, they are also coming out to claim paternity, something I will bet most would run screaming into the night to avoid if Anna Nicloe smoth had not been filthy rich as opposed to just filthy.

The suspects:

1. Howard K. Stern--the lawyer who knows the score better than anyone I would imagine.
2. Larry Birkhead--the idiot by toy her inner (outer?) white trash self probably love the best.
3. J. Howard Marshall--the 90+ year old billionaire she was in twu wuv with might have frozen his sperm for future spawning. As if the whole affair did not creep yout before.
4. Fedrerick von Anbalt--a fake prince who is married to 90+ year old Zsa Zsa Gabor. At least they have something in common, no?
5. Alexander Denk--Anna Nicole Smith’s former bodyguard who may have gotten a little something something on the side, if you catch my drift.

How long before Las Begas bookmakers start a pool about who is going to get the kid? Er, and the money. I am sure that is secondary.
Battlestar Galactica--"The Woman King"

While I am pleased BSG has been renewed next year and will dwell almost exclusively on the overall story arc for thirteen episodes, the shortened season means less episodes like this one. That is a bad thing. Not all of the stand alone installments are worthwhile. ‘Black market” comes to mind as just about the worst episode the show has run. Even Ronald D. Moore apologized to fans for it. But from time to time you get morality tales like “Unfinished Business” and “The Women King” that make you not feel disappointed the arc is not progressed. “The woman King” dealt with the major issues of prejudice and religion in ways most popular entertainment cannot.

Galactica takes on Sagitarron refugees and puts Helo in charge of them. Sagitarrons are a religious sect who do not believe in the use of medicine. Over the centuries, they have spread diseases to people who do not share their beliefs and are therefore enormously unpopular. A treatable illness erupts within their ranks, but they refuse to treat it. The crew decides to ration the medication for the use of non-Sagitarrons but allow any who change their minds to have the needed dose. Several do change their minds, but wind up dead anyway. Helo suspects Dr. Robert, who has expressed nothing but animosity for Sagitarrons, is killing them on purpose. Tigh is buddies with Robert and agrees with him about the Sagitarrons. He will not budge.

Help is on the outside looking in as far as the leadership is conserned until he finds absolute proof Roberts is killing his Sagitarron patients and has been since NewCaprica. Tight eventually comes around and everyone admits Helo was right to be suspicious, even if they all do despise the Sagitarrons and their ways. The issue is largely left hanging, but it appears many of them still refused treatment and died of what is an illness similar to pneumonia. Nothing was ever really resolved here. The crew sought to respect even the dangerous religious beliefs which threatened them all. Can you treat people against their will if their religious beliefs are unwise? Who can say, since religion is based on faith? There is a line there that I studied quite afew times in law school and never came up with a decent answer. Even th Bible says that a hristian is subject to his government, but must obey God above other men. That is no help. But having the guts to explore such questions is why I love this show.

The small “B” story involves foreshadowing Baltar’s upcoming trial for crimes against humanity and treason. Zek fears the fleet will fall into rioting chaos and urges Roslin to declare martial law for the trial. She meanwhile is using Sharon to manipulate the captured Six against Baltar. It is revealed she has an hallucinatory Baltar still in her head just like in “Downloaded“ the same as Baltar has a Six in his head. A cool, intense moment, but was very much overwhelmed by the better main story for me.

Rating: **** (out of 5).
Battlestar Galactica Renewed

According to TV Guide, Battlestar Galactica has been renewed for a fourth season. Ronald D. Moore, the showrunner who has designed a five year arc for the show, is getting his wish for an episode order of thirteen rather than twenty. While that may disappiint some fans who want the twenty we have gotten the last couple seasons, Moore says there will be less filler and more wham this way. I take that as good news. Here is the news blurb in full:
Thank the Gods!

The Sci Fi Channel has ordered a 13-episode fourth season of Battlestar Galactica to debut in Jan. 2008!

Raise a toaster in the air and repeat after me: "Frak, yeah!"

No official confirmation from Sci Fi, but the L.A. Times says a formal announcement is expected later today. The Times also is confirming that a major character will be unmasked as a Cylon before the end of the season. And if my BSG mole is to be believed, it's not Starbuck.

So, who then? Place your bets here!
I did not think the Cylon was Starbuck. the most likely choie is Zek. D'Anna tried to have him killed earlier in the season. that would explain why she apologized to one of the Five Final Cylons she saw in the temple a few episodes ago. I suppose it could be Tyrol as well, but I cannot imagine that having any sort of impact on fans. We will see.

UPDATE: Hold the phone. The actual number of season four episodes may be anywhere from 13 to 22.