Friday, November 30, 2007

Where to Now?

November draws mercifully to a close. I could not end the month’s postings on an obituary. I am not that morbid. Yet, anyway. Besides, my write up for Evel was pretty lukewarm. Like I said, I am too young to recall him from anything but a few commercials and a Sports Illustrated about a decade ago that made him sound like uncouth barbarian. I suppose he was, considering the next to nil cultural contribution jumping Snake River Canyon offers to the human drama. I would put it somewhere between a UFC marathon and watching a bug zapper wild gulping wild Turkey straight from the bottle, but that is just me. Your mileage may vary.

So what comes next? December. Yikes. Ironically enough, I dislike the month now more than I did when I had to suffer through exams. But I cannot remember a time when I considered December a time good for anything other than a chance to recharge my batteries. With a peculiar (I am being kind) family and an alcoholic mother, that was not much of a guarantee, either. All that is water under the bridge. Now December is a reminder one year is finally over. Now I have to do it all over again. As an added bonus, my birthday comes right in the middle in case I had any futile visions of peace of mind. Dash those hopes against the rocks along with that ship I was always waiting to come in.

Say, does that mean they are both in Davy Jones’ locker? Hopefully they can toss out the maracas while he is not looking so her can learn a real musical instrument for once. Yes, I am mixing pop culture references like a madman on a sugar high. Eat your heart out, Dennis Miller. From back when you were funny.

I will be back later to start a whole new month of blogging. My sleep pattern is still reversed, so I will probably be day before sunrise. I cannot guarantee that, of course. Inspiration to write has been sparse as of late. Consider that a gift. It probably would have been grossly bitter anyway. Am I entering a new Blue Period? It is a distinct possibility. Fasten your seatbelts and keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times for your own safety.
Evel Knievel (1938-2007)

By the time I was old enough to be aware of pop culture in the '80's, Knievel had faded off the active scene to be a retired icon rather than an active daredevil. I will bet he considered 69 a ripe old age to reach for himself.

Outside of a few magazine articles designed to either show how much he had become a fumbling old man or to lure him into making chauvinist statements, my experience with knievel is limited. But others older than me appear to be remembering fondly his exploits on ABC's Wide World of Sports back in the days of three networks, so I need to mention his passing.

Godspeed, Mr. Knievel-- assuming you are still up for speed.
Pimping Jessica Simpson

It has been a long time since Jessica Simpson was the patron saint of The Eye. At this point, pretty much anyone who wants to see her in the hot pink Daisy Duke bikini already has. Nevertheless, I still find myself periodically surfing the internet for photos and news regarding Simpson. Why? I have very little clue. I am not a fan of her music or acting. I do not think she does either one even passably well. (Thinking back, her song, “Have You Ever?” is the only one I ever liked. That was what? A decade ago?) Near as I can tell, it is part of my current fascination with our national obsession with train wreck celebrities. Sure, Paris and Britney are at the top (bottom?), but I personally find Simpson the most fascinating because her problems are not the self-destructive kind. To me, it looks like her greedy father is shoving her out into a dog eat dog world she is not ready for.

A couple years ago, a fellow blogger decided to feature old Hollywood celebrities on his blog. It was a classier movie methinks, than my Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan streak at the time. I suggested Thelma Todd as an early choice. If you are one of a growing number of folks who think anything older than yesterday is not worth knowing, Todd was a blond bombshell, Massachusetts school teacher who one a beauty contest and parleyed the win into a short Hollywood career. She was in a few really upscale films, but I first saw and fell in love with her in The Bohemian Girl, a Laurel and Hardy vehicle. Todd did not like the “casting couch” aspects of Hollywood and opened her own restaurant instead. Events get fuzzy afterwards. Some say the mafia tried to edge her out and wound up murdering her instead. Others say she committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. The latter is most likely, not the least reason being she was a small town school teacher who was not quite ready for how success and fame can chew one up and spit one out.

I am not claiming such an ending for Simpson. Truth be told, she is more indicative of the adage the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Something tells me Simpson is not schoolteacher material, but I suspect if her father was not trying so hard to throw her into the gears of the machine so hard, she would be selling real estate right now rather than contributing to the death of both the motion picture and music industries. The real kicker is how much we enjoy watching her fumble about embarrassing herself. We even make up stories and attribute them to hereto make her look even worse. That, I think is my fascination with her. You can print 99% of the truth regarding Britney or Paris and it will sell magazines. But it seems we have to sensationalize Simpson.

Do not get me wrong. I trust the media about as far as I can throw Anderson Cooper. I do not believe everything I read even about major news events. It goes double if the item comes from an American media source. Gossip rags? Triple that. But thanks to the OJ Simpson trial a dozen years ago, gossip rags went mainstream. What you read about Britney Spears family law troubles is probably spot on. But what you read about Jessica Simpson is not. What is the deal? There is the public’s right to know about one pointless celebrity’s life but we have to sex up another? Interesting.

So what set me off on this screed? An item I saw a few days ago. There has been a rumor Jessica Simpson has been seeing Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Is it true? I assume not. Fellow Cowboy Terrell Owens joked sometime ago he hoped it was so he could double date with Ashlee Simpson. The story takes two odd turns. First, there is acclaim that Popp Simpson weaseled his way into Romo’s circle and forced Jessica on him. True? I would not doubt it much, but I do not really buy into it either. It sounds like tabloids trying to build up a caricature of Poppa Simpson as a greedy manipulator using his daughter to fulfill his own ambitions. We do not need to build up the caricature. He is doing that fine on his own. Second, there were reports Jessica took Romo home for Thanksgiving. A neat trick considering he was playing football against the New York Jets that day. D’oh.

The real rub is that Romo is well know dating country singer Carrie Underwood, not Jessica Simpson. He is carrying on a tradition dating back to the recent past when Troy Aikman hooked up with country star Lorrie Morgan before he realized she had matrimony on her mind. I suppose he could be tomcatting around, so there would be a kernel of truth to all this, but I doubt it. Remember how much press Jose Canseco got when he was caught leaving Madonna’s hotel room back in 1991? You cannot keep the real thing quiet. So I guess if there is nothing interesting going on, the press has to make it up? Fascinating, really. I do not know what is funnier: that we have to make up stories about inconsequential celebrities or that we care enough to follow the stories in the first place. I have to wonder as well how much those two factors drive celebrities into the downward spirals they so often find themselves in.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Where Silence Has Lease

Now that I have completely dismissed the new of the day in order to gripe about the all important Dallas Cowboys v. Green Bay Packers football game because of the NFL’s odd television deal, it is time to get down to reality. Namely, I slept all day and missed pretty much everything interesting that might have happened. Not that I really give a rat’s patootie at this point, but for the record. I was in la la land most of daylight.

If you have been keeping track, I do that quite a lot these days. I had a fair excuse this time beyond my usual Just Screw It attitude. For whatever reason, TNT decided to air The Silence of the Lambs in the middle of the night. The network even more inexplicably aired Hannibal first in spite of it being a sequel. I am not as fond of that one anyway. Julianne Moore is a poor substitute for Jodie Foster. But I could not let Silence pass me by. It is not necessarily a movie you should watch in the dark, but I did so.

For my money, it is the best film of the ‘90’s. I remember the first time I saw it. My mother brought a copy home from the video store rather than put it out to rent and thrust it in my hands before school.

“You have to watch this when you get home this afternoon,” she said.

I did. Twice. The first time I was so absolutely stunned by what I had seen, I had to see it again just to absorb it all. It is a mesmerizing piece of work down to the last detail. 9all right, I will grant you the studio lights are visible in the hotel scene in Memphis, but I have yet to hear anyone, professional critic or otherwise, consider the slip up detracting.) I even thought it was fascinating how every outdoor scene is in either rainy or otherwise dreary weather. It was done on purpose to add to the somber mood.

It was a good enough film Jodie Foster wanted to star in it. I always found it off considering the main dynamic is the serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lectoir’s romantic obsession with her character, Special Agent Clarice Starling. It is a curiosity she would attach herself to such a role considering would be presidential assassin John Hinckley’s obsession with Foster herself. I think so many people pointed that out back then she refused to star in the sequel just so she would not have to listen to it all again.

It was worth watching again. I suppose if I am going to keep vampire hours, watching The Silence of the Lambs is as appropriate a pastime as any.
One Fine Day at the Circus

Rodney King, causus belli of the Los Angeles riots in 1992, gets shot while riding his bicycle drunk. Eighty-three year old former Rep. Henry Hyde dies. Sen. Trent Lott decides to resign in order to cash in as a lobbyist. Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards supporters are selected to ask questions at the YouTube Republican presidential candidates debate last night.

Are you shocked by any of this? Me, neither. What really gets me is the Dallas Cowboys are playing the Green Bay Packers, with both teams at 10-1 records, in what is all but certain to be a preview of the NFC championship game and it is not being aired on television.

Priorities, people. Priorities.
Kristen Bell is a Dandy Looking Lass

Is Kristen Bell the only good thing on Heroes these days? beats me. I do not watch Heroes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Irony is Just Too Much

Massachusetts State Rep. Jay Kaufman, who filed legislation in Massachusetts to ban corporal punishment, was asked by colminist Michael Graham, "Did you spank your children," replied, "none of your d*mn business.

You have to love liberals. They would be so darn entertaining if they were not in power where they can cause real damage.
What Happened to Jennifer Love Hewitt?

What have those ghosts been whispering to her? That chili dogs prevent cancer? Yikes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Billie Piper Returns to Doctor Who

Billie Piper will reprise her role as Rose Tyler for a three episode arc in the upcoming season.
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

Behold a sixty year old grave robber.
Sean Taylor (1983-2007)

This is unexpected. Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was supposed responsive after surgery and showing early sings of recovery after being shot by an intruder on Monday. What a tragedy in a long line of tragedies that was not to be. He was only 24. Taylor confronted one or more intruders early Monday morning at the bedroom door of the house he shares with his fiancee and 18-month-old daughter, and was shot in the upper thigh near the femoral artery, The fiancee and child were uninjured, but Taylor lost significant amounts of blood and received a number of transfusions

Taylor’s death is particularly tragic when you consider his background. He was raised in a middle class home, the son of a police chief father and a school official mother. Yet he fell into the “gansta” motif that is prevalent among promising black athletes. He outgrew it after a run in with the law in 2005 for which he plea bargained and was fined by the NFL, but still kept in those bad circles. It just cost him his life not to mention his daughter will now grow up without a father.

I have never been one to say athletes have an obligation to be role models. They do not because no kid in his right mind needs to emulate anyone famous. If kids do, it is a failure on the part of their parents or guardians. At the same time, I hope this opens Taylor’s death opens the eyes of athletes engaged in the thug culture because it is the “cool” thing to do. It has become costly far beyond any misguided hero worship a young NFL fan might have into something much deadlier.
Is the WGA Strike Nearly Over?

Nikki Finke, who has been extraordinarily reliable in accurately covering the business end of show business, believes so. She writes:
"It's already done, basically," the insider describes. That's because of the weeks worth of groundwork by the Hollywood agents working the writers guild leadership on one side, and the studio and network moguls on the other. I was told not to expect an agreement this week. But my source thought it was possible that the strike could be settled before Christmas."
Good. I want to see a whole season of Lost and the back ten of Battlestar Galactica. You may read her article in its entirety here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Battlestar Galactica--"Razor"

I finally settled down to watch Battlestar Galactica: Razor earlier today. Two days late is better than never, no? Overall I enjoyed the movie. I did find it ironic the movie was called BSG:R even though it centered on two eras in the life of the Pegasus rather than the Galactica. As I recall from the second season when Adm. Cain and the ship were introduced, I was not terribly enthralled with either. It was six and the torture debate that stuck out in my mind. The plight of Six is given a cursory glance here, but there was enough other story here to keep me interested.

The movie centers around new officer Kendra Shaw. We follow here through two eras: the day of the Cylon attack on Caprica under Cain and when Lee Adama took over the ship. Shaw joined the crew as XO as a good career move but wound up losing much of her humanity in the desperate days after Caprica was annihilated. Cain rules the ship with a ruthless iron hand with Shaw unquestionably following along, even to the point she participates in a civilian massacre. After Cain’s death at the hands of Six, she still maintains the Cain edgy up until the final opportunity to redeem herself.

There were lots of interesting revelations. We got to see Cain execute one of her bridge officers for refusing to follow orders, a scene alluded to in the second season. We also got to seethe crew’s degradation under Cain’s merciless rule so that we better understand why they followed such an uninspiring leader and how they could so brutally torture Six over the months she was held captive. The added twist to that being before she was discovered to be a Cylon, she and Cain had a thing going. I found it interesting the hold she still had over the crew even in death. Many resented Lee Adama’s command for more reasons than the obvious one of being given a Battlestar by his daddy.

Some cool spoilers for the upcoming final saeason emerged as well. We got a good look at original Cylons for the first time in the revived series. They had captured and were experimenting on humans, something they had been doing towards the end of the first Cylon War. They were protecting a Human-Cylon Hybrid who revealed Starbuck will bring on the annihilation of the human race if Galactica follows her to Earth. Unfortunately, Shaw was the only one to hear the warning and has to sacrifice herself to save everyone else before she can tell anyone.

I tossed a coin to decide how much I liked the continuity fit. The root of the Adamas animosity running through the third season had its seeds here where father and son disagreed on how to handle the rescue mission. That much I thought was good. Why was there never any mention of encountering Original Cylons experimenting on humans during the third season? It seems peculiar for to never come up in idle conversation at some point. I can excuse that, though, because it was neat to seem the old red eyes in action yet again. I enjoyed the movie overall. I have a hunch it could have been more revealed, like In the Beginning was for Babylon 5, but I dug it.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Where Did Sunday Go?

Good question. I had one of my Sleep Sixteen Hours and Screw Everything Else Days. If you have never had one, I highly recommend them but only if you have zero responsibilities. Otherwise, you become more than just an irritating pain in the butt and head into obstructionist territory. The latter is often hard to forgive. Fortunately, I am in the former-- now and forever, most likely. Whoo hoo.

It is a fascinating experience to fall asleep in the dark and also wake up in the dark. You would think it might be disorienting, but I cannot remember a time any longer when I thought that way. I did it for nearly three months back in 2000 after my initial eye surgery. My eye was so light sensitive for so long, I kept vampire hours out of self defense. I would sleep from dark to dark, then get up when everyone else had long sense passed out, sometimes literally. I learned to fulfill the necessities of life with as little as a nightlight to guide the way.

I spent many nights rocking away in an easy chair in the dark of night. Sometimes I would listen to music. Other times I would just rock with my thoughts. It was peaceful in a way. But sometimes I could get the impression that the whole world was dead except me. Upsetting life’s balance will make you think funny things. One further funny thing: it was a commercial for Will Smith’s new movie, I Am legend, that I saw on Thanksgiving Day that brought back that memory. I imagine I will still favor The Omega Man over IAML or the original Vincent Price version, The Last Man on Earth. I never got a chance to read the original novel. Too bad, I imagine.

You know what? I took that rocking chair to Virginia Beach with me and used it in much the same manner as when I wss recuperating in 2000. I had to leave it behind when I came back to South Carolina for surgery. Some “good” Christian snatched it up without one word of thanks. It is probably lying in a trash heap by now. How appropriate. I have lost all sorts of thingsin recent years. You have absolutely no idea how to measure it. You do not even want to think about it.

I guess staying in bed all day was not a matter of fun, games, and exercising freedom, was it?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Labor Wins in Australia

John Howard joins his fellow Iraq War supporter Tony Blair on the unemployment line. Only Bush still remains, albeit from lack of opportunity to get rid of him.

Still, that has to burn Iraq War detractors.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Holidaze for Grown Ups
I overheard today someone claiming Thanksgiving was just about the only holiday that does not cater to children. The day is all about giving thanks for blessings, which kids are not apt to even recognize, much less do. It is a time for adults to gather, eat food, and fellowship. Being a natural contrarian, I ran through the other holidays to confirm the hypothesis. Valentine’s Day came immediately to mind, but with children’s cards and the like taking precedence over the concept of romance, I will concede that one. But I think he is wrong on New Year’s. It caters exclusively to adults. Theystay up passed midnight, get drunk, and contemplate why they should endure another year of crap when there is a perfectly good revolver sitting on a shelf in the bedroom closet. I assumethat is not a tradition for kids, but what do It know?

I just wanted to establish that point. To reiterate, both Thanksgiving and New Year’s are holidays which do not cater to children. They are uniquely adult, in all seriousness. You count your blessings, such as they are, on Thanksgiving and optimistically hope either the gravy train keeps on rolling into next year or embrace the realization it ain’t gonna happen on New year’s. They complement each other, in a way. I have yet to figure out how going into debt buying gifts for Christmas fits in, but I will work on that and get back to you. Send research grant money, if you can spare it.

I survived Thanksgiving relatively intact. There were no surprises. I was particularly baffled as to why the Dallas Cowboys were set to play the New York Jets. I know these match ups are set well before the season begins. Were the Jets expected to be better than they wound up being? I would have preferred to see Dallas play the Green Bay Packers. I am not a Packer Backer, but I imagine they would have rather seen that game, too, as opposed to the disappointing Detroit Lions. What about the New England Patriots or the Indianapolis Colts? We did not they would be as good as they turned out, but we knew they would attract national attention regardless. They both would have made for better opponents.

Anyway, I am always disoriented when a holiday turns the vacation into a long weekend. It takes so long to achieve a sense of normalcy. I am like a cat: disturb myroutine and it takes forever for me to readjust. Can you tell I am a wee bit off kilter? This time of the year does that to me. Oh, well. Readjustment probably forthcoming.
The WGA Strike May End Before 2008

The WGA and producers will resume talks on Monday. While no one expects the strike to end immediately after, there is a growing sense it may not last into January. It is not carved in stone, mind you, but two things point to a relatively quick resolution.

First, the entire industry—and I am referring to just about anyone losing work because of the work stoppage—is solidly behind the writers. A massive protest on Hollywood Boulevard a few days ago brought out tons of industry folks besides WGA members. It is becoming quickly apparent the only folks who believe the producers are right are the producers themselves.

Second, and something of a corollary to the first, now that I think about it, is the producers have realized they will not get significantly better terms by dragging the strike out until it is too late to resume the television season. The producers need the period of January to June in order to film as many episodes of television and shoot as many movies as possible in preparation for an almost inevitable Screen Actors Guild strike when their contract expires in June. The possibility of a Directors Guild walk looms as well.

The optimistic scenario of an early end to the WGA strike hinges on whether the producers are farsighted enough to do damage control. They certainly did not act wisely in trying to curtail the WGA strike to begin with and it has cost them billions. Now, I cannot imagine they would drag out the WGA strike into a SAG and possibily a DGA strike as well considering that would bring Hollywood to a complete and utter shutdown, but who knows at this point?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgivings & Misgivings

I am done with Turkey Day. Read into that what you will. Life sometimes crosses over from tragedy to theater of the absurd and that is pretty much what this Thanksgiving was all about. It is just as well. From my post last night, it is pretty clear I was not in the spirit of the season. That is fine with me. I can embrace my own weaknesses. People are often weak and even more often ugly. I will just take my honored place among them.

I hope everyone else found the capacity to appreciate their success, health, and loved ones. For what it is worth these days, I recall all that I had and appreciate the time I had with it. I mourn its passing with a grief beyond my ability to articulate. If you have read my blog for a while, you will recall I often say I just cannot find the words. I dig for them, but often to no avail. Words fail me yet again tonight, but that is okay. They are my thoughts and I should keep them within my own heart. Yes, today is a day of fellowship, but sometimes, it just has to be between me and God.

It has been a quiet day of mostly solitude. Those are perfect conditions for reflection. I was not told right around a year ago life had no meaning. Bad things just happened and I was just depressing myself by looking for reasons behind it. I never for one second believed it, then or now. I believed then, believe now, and forever shall believe things happen for a reason. I certainly will not say it is a good reason or even a worthwhile one. Heck, God made Job suffer to win a bet. But I am not fond of the idea of saying crap happens and smoke a cigarette until the mood passes.

You know, I have no clue where I am going with this. I am just rambling incoherently. It is probably why this place has been sinking for so long. Everything is muddled. I say I am trying to give thanks for things past then try to justify their (seemingly) senseless passing. That is what we humans do, huh? Seek patterns and meanings when none are obvious. We would rather believe in a stupid theory than none at all. Good grief. I do mean grief. I weep for the future. Mine and yours.

All right. So it has notbeen the greatest of days. What do you want from me, because I have nothing left to give. Well, there is this:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On the Eve of Turkey Day

Here we are on the verge of Turkey Day. I wrote some three weeks ago how this time of the year makes me melancholy for some idealized memories of times which probably never happened the way I remember. Considering how liquored up the adults in my life often were, I am probably still ahead of the game. Well, I cannot say I am not in the doldrums, but at least I have not been as bitter on ye olde blog –or anywhere else, for that matter –as I thought I would be. Call it acceptance or resignation, but you probably should not label it at all just yet. The year ain’t over yet and I change like the whether.

I heard some pundit on television today adverise an upcoming segment about teachers in Seattle encouraging students to consider thanksgiving a day of mourning for Native American genocide. I did not stick around to watch the segment. Since it was on FOX news, I could pretty much fill out the anti-politically correct template myself, except I would probably have created a Word template instead of writing it in crayon like they do. Call me a knuckle dragging Neanderthal if you wish, but every lives on stolen land and Manifest Destiny is a part of history. Weep for it if you wish, but let the kids have their turkey regardless.

You know, Thanksgiving is considered a secular holiday, but it is actually based on a biblical principle of giving praise to God for blessings rendered during the year. For whatever reason, we like to attribute religious elements to pagan or secular holidays and secular meaning to religious ones. I guess it is that fallen state of man that prompts us to be contrary whenever and wherever we can.

I will tell you what: I recognize Thanksgiving for what it is supposed to be, but I am also going to let my rebellious, fallen nature run on a long leash. It should warm the cockles of the hearts of those teachers in Seattle. I have my own unique attitude regarding my personal blessings (such as they are), so why do you not do the same. Enjoy whatever aspects of Thanksgiving make you happy. Happy moments are more fleeting than I ever realized in my young, naïve life, so take what you can get while you still can. You are not promised another, after all.
Dr. Jan Adams Walks Off Larry King Live

Larry King oddly takes pride in not preparing for his interviews. It has cost him in recent times, such as when he referred to Paul McCartney as George [Harrison]. Just a few weeks ago, he got into a minor scuffle with Jerry Seinfeld when he asked the comedian if the network cancelled his hit show or if it was Seinfeld’s decision. You may recall Seinfeld was the number one show on television at its end and NBC was offering $ 5 million per episode to Jerry alone to continue for a tenth. It is a wonder politicians ever sit down with King anymore.

Come to think of it, do they? I do not watch him much these days. Usually I only catch who he has on when flipping channels. It look pretty gaudy and tabloid these days. I assume his show has gone seriously downhill since devoting so much time to OJ years ago and now competing with the propaganda machine that is FOX News.

Last night King had on Dr. Jan Adams, the plastic surgeon who operated on Kenye West’s mother the day before she died. Adams proceeded to walk off theset in the middle of the live interview, saying he was respecting the family’s wishes. It did not really matter much. King could probably have filled the rest of the hour interviewing the cameraman. He probably would have asked the exact same questions, too.

As for whether Adams was respected the west family’s wishes, I say poppycock. His lawyer advised him to clam up because Kenye West is going to sue the bejeebus out of him for wrongful death. Things do not look good for the sawbones. The surgery took four hours longer than it was supposed to then Donda West wound up suddenly dying. Adams thought it best not to worry about the court of public opinion by giving an public interview and more about saving his own bacon. I cannot blame him.
Hayden Panettiere in a Bikini

Better than the last few I posted, no? Save the cheerleader, save the world...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mudslinging...More or Less

I am surprised it took this long for real mud to start flying in the presidential race. Considering the sped up, cramped primaries, the candidates have to make up for quite a bit of lost time. What strikes me is the rank amateur nature of it all. Come on. Are not most of these guys and gal seasoned campaigners? Heck, even Barack Obama has run for a couple offices before and was savvy enough to win.

Remember the 200o election? George Bush at Bob Jones University partying like it was 1399? Not the aftermath of that was real mudslinging. A future president visiting a racist, anti-Catholic university, during a statewide Confederate flag debate, no less, and winning? Republican organized protests in Florida during the recount? Accusations of mass voter fraud? Any minute now we were going to have martial law with Bush calling out the Texas Rangers (the real ones and the baseball team) to battle Gore’s FBI and Greenpeace for the keys to the White House. It was a beautiful, teetering on the brink of the apocalypse moment.

What have we got now? Some low level campaign operative calling potential voters in New Hampshire and reminding them, in case they did not know, Mitt Romney only sorta believes in Jesus and thinks the Osmond family ought to headline his inaugural ball. Gee, did you know the guy was a Mormon? How did we miss that? Next you will be telling me a woman might be the next president.

Speaking of, when Hillary Clinton was dropping four or five points off her 25+ point lead over every other Democrat, so called “agents” let it be known they had scandalous dirt on Obama. The word “agents” was used by columnist Robert Novak, who does not even bother to disguise his reporting is to benefit conservatives and not the public’s right to know. The word invokes images of trenchcoated men exchanging documents in dark back alleys.. Do you want to know who theseagentsare? Put him under oath. While other reporters languish in jail for months protecting sources, Novak sang like a canary when questioned in the Valerie Plame case.

Clinton has opted not to use it (yet) but does not seem to upset by the Washington whispers. Rightly so, because instead of ignoring it or saying put up or shut up, Obama responded like a rank amateur allowing the Clinton camp to highlight how his inexperience will allow the cutthroat ways of the city to overwhelm him. Clinton ran the risk of sounding patronizing, but she had a decent point His appeal is fueled by an idealism that has no place in real world politics. That is the reality that I am certain will eventually kill his chances of winning the White House. But still, I would rather see some more interesting spats erupt outside of these Seinfeldian slap fights we have seen thus far. If we cannot have civil politics 9and we cannot) at least let us see some blood being shed. .

Monday, November 19, 2007

Is Battlestar Galactica is Jeopardy?

NBC Universal has taken a drastic step in the Writers Guild of America strike which might foretell the battle to come when the Screen Actors Guild contract expires next year. The production company has issued force majeure letters to a number of television shows, including Battlestar Galactica.

I will get back to why it is significant in BSG’s case in a minute. But first, an explanation. Force majeure provision allows studios to suspend SAG without pay if the production of a show has been shut down. Suspending actors puts them in limbo as they are still under contract and unable to sign contracts for other jobs./ The SAG is not happy as you might imagine. The matter is bound to come up as an issue should SAG decide to strike when its current contract expires. More immediately, with show runners largely on the WGA picket lines, production of pretty much every scripted show has been shut down. Those in the know expect many more such letters to be issued.

The problem with BSG is threefold. First, this is the final season in a steady ratings down slide. The Sci Fi Channel has maintained the show regardless because of critical praise and a continued story arc. The show has a relatively low budget, but Sci Fi has been wary of financing episodes with dwindling fan interest. Second, the SAG is challenging the letters, claiming they are a violation of the SAG contract. If the contracts have been breached, the actors are free to find other work. Being a low paying cable show, many of them may do so rather than wait out the WGA strike and return to BSG. Finally, the actors have completed the minimum contracted requirement of thirteen episodes. The season was projected to have twenty, but if the strike lingers on, the network may opt to cut it off at thirteen and wrap up the storyline with a movie or miniseries sometime after the strike ends.

I cannot really say if that would be horrible., just that it would alter the planned story and rush it to the finish. After investing time and interest in the show, it would bea shame for loose ends to be wrapped up too quickly because of labor strife and financial concerns rather than story elements. Whether any of this comes to fruition is still up in the air.
Tom Glavine Resigns with Atalanta

Tom Glavine accepts a on year, $ 8 million deal to finish out his career with his old team, the Atlanta Braves.
Lost: Sawyer & Kate

Here is my latest Lost music video. I did Not have the MP3 timing problem this time around like I did with the previous Desmond and Penny video. How I lucked out on that is beyond me. I was born under a bad sign, you know. Anyway, this one features Sawyer and Kate. for whatever reason, I have only done one "skate" video previously even though the other one has been quite popular on YouTube.

The video is set to "The Search is Over" by Survivor. There are plenty of half naked shot of Evangeline Lilly scattered about to spice things up, too. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Grey Panthers

Gentlemen, I got it.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Vinnie Testaverde is 43. They practically roll him to the line of scrimmage in a wheelchair. I am keenly aware of this fact. He is old.

Do you color commentators have to mention it on every single down?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Robert McNair (1923-2007)

Former Gov. Robert E. McNair, who helped guide the state through six years of racial divide, including the infamous Orangeburg Massacre, has died after a bout with brain cancer. He was 83.
WGA Labor Negotiations to Resume

Leaders from the AMPTP and the WGA have mutually agreed to resume formal negotiations on November 26.
Time Crash

The Tenth Doctor and the Fifth meet up in a segment for the Children in Need Holiday Special written by my favorite Doctor Who scribe, Stephen Moffat.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cam-Pain Debate

I skipped the Democratic debate last night yet again. Watching politicians debate is about as exciting as watching paint dry and watching Democrats specifically debate is like watching paint dry on growing blades of grass. Have the debate hosted by CNN (Clinton News Network) and you have a recipe for finding something—anything –better to do even when you are armed with a Political Science degree. For the record, I would feel the same way about a republican debate on FOX News. I am trying to not picture Bill Kristol and Sean Hannity in miniskirts waving their pom poms and for the sake of your mental and emotional wellbeing, I suggest you likewise.

I have discovered it is purely unnecessary to sit through these debates regardless. I can spend a grand total of thirty minutes a night strolling through various pundits’ shows and find out everything I need to know. Lately, I have been spending my half hour mostly with Tucker Carlson and Keith Olberman, so I am pretty sure I am getting both sides of a coin I am not particularly interested in having in the first place. I cannot decide if I am a good citizen or just a masochist. Perhaps the two are not mutually exclusive.

Regardless, here is the lowdown. The moderator Wolf Blitzer tossed nothing but softballs, particulary at Clinton. (Remember what I said CNN actually stood for?) But she still got off the zinger of the evening by saying the other candidates were sniping at her not because of her gender, but because she was winning. The line got loads of applause because, well, the liberal crowd was happy to have a woman winning even though this has nothing to do with gender. Barack Obama fumbled all night long, screwing up chances to nail Clinton as a flip flopper on drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. Heck, he tossed out nothing but meaningless platitudes which wound up getting the most applause of the night. B3ecause, you know, that is what enlightened liberals want to hear: someone who respects every idea to the point of believing in no idea.

Obama reminds me of the old joke about a capitalist who went to a collective farm in the Soviet union to have communism explained to him. A farmer took two buckets, one filled with potatoes and the other empty. He began pouring the potatoes back and forth between the two buckets, very satisfied with what he was doing. Finall, the capitalist could not stand it any longer.

“How can you be so satisfied? You are not actually doing anything!”

“Ah, yes,” the farmer replied. “But what a sound I am making.”

To cap it all off, Dennis Kucinich pointed out that John Edwards has changed every single one of his positions from when he was a senator. To which I have to respond, so what? The guy might as well claim he is receiving public policy ideas from LBJ beyond the grave because as close as he is going to get to the White House is if a Tarheel State vacationers slips and falls on on Oval Office tour.

We have 360+ more days of this stuff, folks.
Hayden Panettiere

I dig classic beauties even when they have arrest warrants on them in Japan for trying to save the dolphins.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trials & Tribulations

As if thoughts of another OJ trial were not bad enough, the whole Stacy Peterson mess is gaining steam in the more tabloid television news venues. It would not be so bad if it were not gaining attention because it sounds so much like the Laci Peterson case. You always hope the news media will become nostalgic for the days of Edward r. Morrow, but no such luck. Nope, ir is bring on another OJ trial and some E! True Hollywood special with Stacy rather than Laci.

So what do we have here? Drew Peterson this time instead of Scott Peterson. We have a missing wife. Her name is Stacy, not Laci, but it is so close, I have seen MSNBC accidentally spell it with a cutesie “I” rather than a “y.” Drew is a cop, supposedly there to protect and serve. Jurors stated they convicted Scott Peterson because he was supposed to be a protector for his wife and unborn child. I imagine being a cop will make it doubly worse for Drew. Plus, he has gone on television proclaiming his innocence which is not going to work, because like Scott, the guy just comes across as creepy.

I call this a very unwelcome déjà vu. I already have to witness too much Geraldo Rivera digging into sensational stories like some swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks enough as it is and I already make a valiant effort to avoid him like the plague in the first place. Can you believe we have to do this all over again? I am coming around to believe media shutouts of trials is a fantastic idea whose time has come.
Barry Bonds Indicted

A federal grand jury has indicted Barry Bonds on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He is innocent until proven guilty, but the feds have been out to pin something on him for his flagrant violations of the law for quite some time now. I cannot say it upsets me to see them finally succeed. It is the least of his worries at the moment, but he can pretty much forget finishing his career as a designated hitter.

Was there a team out there who would have taken him on before his indictment? Even at the bargain price of $ 5 million for a one year deal, the added headaches would not have been worth it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

OJ Goes to Trial

No surprise there. These preliminary hearings are often a farce.

Now that the initial excitement has worn off, legal analysts are being more honest about the case. Let me changew that to "less sensational" I do not want to imply any were lying. they were just aiming for good television. Anyway, the idea that OJ might be sent away for life is being quieted down to, if convicted, he will spend a few years in jail. Maybe a few years would be significant for a man of sixty like OJ, but not quite the, "He may die of old age in prison!" line from a couple months ago.

I paid only scant attention to the hearing, but from what I heard, the whole affair sounds like one incompetent bungle after another. Las Vegas takes these things seriously since touruism is the city's life blood and it is a priority to be crime free, so I do hope they throw the book at him. if for no other reason, OJ is old news and I am sick of hearing about him.
Zachary Quinto as Spock

I remain not only skeptical, but more interested in the potential lawsuit from Harlan Ellison, but Spock does look pretty cool here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Dry Well

I wish I could have written something of substance today, but I did not and cannot. Nothing in the political world caught my attention. The WGA strike is lingering on with no news talks between parties and antsy fans working on desperate, but futile, campaigns to support the writers. Does anyone care Britney Spears failed her latest drug test or is too stupid to hire a driver for herself? How about Paris Hilton’s new elephant charity cause being a hoax? There are no words. Really, if I tried to blog about those two floosies, the letters would impale themselves on picket fences rather than form the words. We are already illiterate enough without me contributing to alphabet genocide.

I could not even find any good celebrity photos to cleanse the palate after the skeletal Sarah Michelle Gellar posting last night. There were some nifty Reese Witherspoon ones recently attached to articles about Pizza Hut offering her son, Deacon, a job after the little tyke said he wanted to deliver pizzas for a living. Some companies will do anything for free publicity. I did not really want to participate in that. Shame, too. She was wearing a turtleneck sweater. I kinda like that. Ahem.

Honestly, I spent the day doing nothing significant, much less thinking about anything of merit. The most effort I put forth was looking up which NFL teams Mike Golic played for in his nine year professional career. If you are curious, they were the Houston Oilers, Philadelphia eagles, and the Miami Dolphins. How did I reach this low point? I have gotten into the habit of listening to Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN2’s radio simulcast. Golic is interesting to listen to. His partner, mike Greenberg, is a journalism graduate of Northwestern and oozes condescension. I am basically watching in the hopes Golic will body slam the little jerk at some point.

So my day involved lounging on the couch with a snoozing Boo trying to root me off periodically. Cats curl up when they start napping, but stretch out as the slumber wears on without much thought to personal space. But that is Boo for you. I wound up plopping back in my bed after lunch and sleeping most of the day away. Not a bad pastime, I suppose. Perhaps I will try something more contructive later. Probably not, but maybe.
Sounds Familiar

This David Rodriguez fellow certainly is a gifted wordsmith, no?

Monday, November 12, 2007

1968 Redux

Evidently Barack Obama had a very good weekend in Iowa. His speech at the Lincoln-Jackson Dinner knocked the socks off leftist pundits who are busy driving nails into the coffin of the Hillary Clinton campaign. a wee bit premature, methinks, but they seem way too starstruck to care at the moment. Obama pledged to unite all parties and people while ending the war in Iraq.

Hardball's Chris Matthews swooned over Obama, imagining a glorious return to the halcyon days of 1968 with obama as the reincarnation of RFK. As i recall, 1968 was a tmultuous year in which the left felt alienated because Democrats were running the war in Vietnam and the Democratic National Convention was the scene of a terrible riot. Does that sort of thing truly capture the liberal imagination?

Furthermore, an RFK presidency is and forever shall be an unfulfilled fantasy, as will an Obama Administration. Hopefully it will be for different reasons.
Sarah Michelle Gellar is MAXIM's Woman of the Year

Uh...why? It is 2007, not 1997.
Cheap Skates

Jericho fans sent sent tons of nuts to producers to successfully get their show back on the air. Veronica Mars fans started too late sending Mars bars to that shows producers, but now a broader plan is afoot to end the WGA strike. It is ambitious, but heck, it sounds like fun.

The idea is to send inexpensive skates to the Powers That Be: studios, the producers' organization, and eventually, major stockholders. Details are at the link I provided above.

Will it work? Who knows? It just might be aggravating enough to get the WGA an extra $ .04 per DVD and some internet royalties. All this drama begs the question-- is their anyone out there who believes studios are in the right on this strike? I have not heard from anyone (I am with the writers, too) who believes so.
The Star Trek XI Reboot

A big detail has emerged regarding J. J. Abrams' new trek movie due out next Christmas. The rumor explains the reboot it is a significant spoiler, so I will write about it in the next paragraph so purists can remain virgins.

You can expect some fireworks from Harlan ellison, methinks. The villain of the film, the Romulon Nero, will use the Guardian of Forever to alter history, a la Ellison's "The City on the Edge of Forever." Ellison has breathed fire for decades over changes done to his original script because even what he considers a butchered version is still ranked as one of the best Trek episodes of all time. the guardian of Forever is one of his creations. if it becomes prominent in a Trek reboot, one can only imagine how burnt ellison is going to feel.

Howver, using the Guardian of Forever leaves Paramount with an escape clause if the reboot does not fly. Kirk changed history back in "The City on the Edge of Forever" and it can be done again if the movie is a flop. In some ways it is brilliant. in other ways it is a cop out in order to ensure the gravy train keeps rolling. It is up to fans to decide which they believe.

UPDATE: That did not take long:
HARLAN ELLISON
- Monday, November 12 2007 10:19:47
THAT STAR TREK BUSINESS

MARK GOLDBERG or ANYONE ELSE:

Would someone go to that site, and suggest to those people there, that "City" and all its elements EXCEPT specific Star Trek characters, belong to Harlan Ellison--author of that much-lauded episode--by terms of the Separation of Rights clause of the Writers Guild's Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA), and if Mr. Abrams--with whom I'm currently on strike--or anyone else, at Paramount or elsewhere, thinks they're going to use MY creations--whether the City, the Guardians, Sister Edith Keeler, or any other elements CREATED BY HARLAN ELLISON...they had damned well better lose the unilateral arrogance, get in touch with me, or my agent, Marty Shapiro, and be prepared to pay for the privilege of mining the lode I own.

Thank you, and thank Peter David, who just called to alert me, as have you, Mark, to yet another gimmegimme grab by Paramount and the Star trek francchise that makes billions, but withholds recognition or recompense to the artists who labored in that vein.

Yr. Pal, Harlan
There you go.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Any Given Sunday

There have been an awful lot of posts around here regarding the WGA strike and the 2008 election. I am officially sick of both. The sad part is neither of them has even cranked up full throttle yet. From what I have read here and there, this WGA strike will surpass the 22 week strike of 1988. As for the election, the frontloaded primaries ought to decide the two candidates fairly quickly. Or shall I say Hillary Clinton and her Republican opponent. I still think Barack Obama does not have a prayer.

What we do need to pray for is to get a GOP candidate quickly. There is no clear favorite emerging as far as primary voters are concerned. I keep hearing Rudy Giuliani has the lead nationally from some source, then I hear Mitt Romney from others. I have even heard a couple pundits salivating over the extremely unlikely prospect of not having a nominee until the convention. I am not certain if that is a wish for exciting television or a fractured GOP to make a Clinton victory that much easier. One thing is for certain, as marginalized and dismissed as the so called Religious Right is normally, it is going to be doubly worse when a liberal, pro-choice candidate gets the Republican nomination.

While I am on the subject, John McCain has his 95 year old mother campaigning with him to demonstrate how spry he will be in old age. Can you really seem like a mature candidate with your mommy on the stump with you? Even as childlike as critics think Bush is, he does not travel around holding his Daddy’s hand. I have to give the props to Dennis Kucinich traveling around with that hot babe wife of his. Much better choice there, dude.

All right. To get away from this stuff, I had a big lunch, then laid around watching football all day. It was not a good weekend to be from South Carolina. Last nigh, my beloved Gamecocks lost to the Florida Gators. Today the Carolina Panthers fell to the Atlanta Falcons. At least my Dallas Cowboys defeated the New York Giants to stay atop the NFC East. Football is a poor substiture for baseball though, let me tell you. I want to see some more drama between now and spring training!

Those are my thoughts for Sunday.
Lost--"Desmond & Penny"

My latest Lost music video. You could consider Desmond and Penny secondary characters, but I imagine there are a lot of fans of the two separated by too much distance lovebirds. The video is set to "Far Away" by Nickelback. There is a bit of dead air after the credits. it does not detract from the actual video, but it is there. I believe this was not the best MP3 of the song i could have gotten, but what can you do at this point?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer (1923-2007)

I cannot say I was a big fan of the hard drinking author who never quite go over the peacenik '60's except to stab his wife, but anytime an old school author dies in this increasingly illiterate age, it is worth lamenting.
The WGA Strike, Day Six

Things get uglier.

CBS and NBC have threatened to lay off non-writing staff members for all their late night shows by the end of the week if the writers do not come back. NBC has also floated the notion of replacement hosts for Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. There are two kiss of death jobs. No one in their right minds would cross the picket line and alienate both those two and the WGA for a temporary moment in the spotlight. a moment likely to be a dud, by the way.

Firing staff is a reasonable business decision, I suppose, but it certainly does not help much in the public relations department. i doubt people will blame the WGA for the layoffs like the networks are hoping.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Baseball Owners Colluding

Speculation abounds baseball owners may be colluding yet again as they did once in the mid-80’s. At that point, they were trying to manipulate the entire free agent market. This time around, the accusation is in regards to a sole player: Alex Rodriguez. The catch is there is an earnest debate afoot whether the owners, if they are, in fact, coluding, are simply correcting the economics of superstar value.

Here is the deal. Rodriguez opted out of his contract with the New York Yankees and demanded a salary increase of at least $ 350 for ten years. He subsequently walked away fromm the pinstripes in order to test the free agent market. Rodriguez is represented by uber-agent scott Boras who is looking to make his client the first $ 30 million dollar man for a grand total of $ 300 + million over ten to twelve years. There are not a whole lot of teams outside of the Yankees that could fork over that kind of cash. So far, the Florida Marlins, a team no one seriously expected to land Rodriguez, has said they will not bid for him. The San Francisco Giants said they would fill their Barry Bonds power vacuum without him. The New York Mets and the California Angels supposedly remain in the running, but I have yet to hear any numbers from them. The Yankees have put an arbitration offer on the table. So, are they all trying to make it a buyer’s market?

Possibly. Rodriguez is a great baseball player. No doubt about that. But he thinks he is bigger than the game and that he is not. He announced he was joining the free agent market the night of the fourth game of the world Series when everyone other than Matt Holliday’s mother knew the Red sox were going to sweep their way to the world championship. Rodriguez thinks he is bigger than the World Series. Well, he has played for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees. None of those teams made the World Series while he was on the roster. So what makes him so worthwhile?

He is not a team player. He obviously is not going to be that extra oomph that propels a team to a world championship. What he is is a statistics monster. He has more home runs than either Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds had at his age. In about ten or twelve years—the length of contract he wants –he will likely hold the all time homer run record. I am sure there are lots of Anybody But Bonds folks out there who would like him to take the record, too. But that hope has given Rodriguez a Me First, Middle, and Last attitude that is not worth $ 350 million.

There is absolutely no reason to set the bar that high for anyone in baseball right now, much less Rodriguez. While there is no definitive proof the owners are colluding to ensure a smaller contract for him, I do not fault them for doing so. Rodriguez is going to play somewhere next season. It may not be for $ 30 and the player’s union may be wringing his hands over how it was done, but I think it would be there right way of reining in the overblown egos of players who are nowhere near as big as they would like to believe.
Ali Larter

The WGA strike is about to cut the second season of Heroes short. tim Kring has actually breathed a sigh of relief over the chop, apologizing to fans for mistakes that were made in storytelling. Another side effect of the shortened season is probably less Ali Larter photos floating about. So get while the getting is good.

Here are a few of the lovely Ali wearing an outfit that looks like she has been dunked in milk. I shall refrain from making any jokes about what I would like to dunk. Since discovering yesterday the Eye has a postgrad reading level, I feel I must class up the joint and be more existential.
Do You Want to Know What the Island Is?

Lost co-executive producer Carlton Cuse has so far had the best picket sign I have seen in the WGA strike. Seems rather depressing considering how creative these folks are supposed to be. I would expect to see more cleverness out there pounding the pavement.

The answer is yes, by the way. I do want to know what the island is and I am going to soon go into the DTs if the strike delays me from finding out. Greedy studios.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hillary Clinton & Gender Politics

Did you wonder how long it was going to take for gender to enter the 2008 race as an issue? I am surprised it took as long as it did. Were Hillary Clinton not the frontrunner, it probably never would have emerged at all, but since she has pulled so far ahead of her Democrat rivals with so few weeks left to go before the primaries, the claws have come out. The most peculiar part is the claws have mostly come out from the media as far as gender is concerned. The worst I have heard any other candidate say is Barack Obama’s declaration that Clinton is too much of a backwards looking hippie to advance the republic. I find the assertion ironic considering how much Vietnam was a part of the 2004 election and, considering the current climate of unpopular war and a paranoid president demanding absolute loyalty, the Nixon Administration is likely to be integralto 2008.

But that is another post for down the road. Right now, the press is trying to put gender front and center. I have not yet determined the motivation. Are they trying to portray her as a victim? Trying to chip away at her ice queen image to be a more sympathetic figure? Maybe they are just trying to spice things up in what has been a pretty dull race considering the issues at hand. The media has pressed on Clinton’s lackluster performance at last week’s debate. Admittedly, she was not her best and she slipped in the polls, but not enough to lose her lead or even put Obama within striking distance. I agree with Clinton’s own assessment: they were not beating up on her because she is a woman. They are beating up on her because she is winning.

She can take it. She has to take it. If she shows a chink in her armor because Obama thinks she is too old and out of touch to be president, how is she going to stand up to the myriad of enemies the United states has around the world? What, is she going to burst into tears when Palestinians burns her in effigy along with an American flag? Come on. If I were her, I would jerk a knot in Bill Clinton’s butt for saking critics not to Swiftboat her. Being defended by her husband long before anyone actually has Swiftboated her makes Clinton look weaker than any stumbling debate performance.

Yes, Clinton is lagging behind in male voters. When it comes down to it, anyone who was going to vote for the Democrat candidate is going to vote for her. Swing voters are not, in this day and age, going to avoid voting for her because she is a woman. Folks like Bob Jones III think woman are little more than livestock anyway, so who cares how they vote? I think this whole effort to add a sex drama to the election is ridiculous. Today, there is a misleading story that Clinton’s campaign crew went into a restaurant, racked up a $ 157 bill, and did not tip. It is not true, but the story has legs because Clinton herself left no cash undrr her plate. People, if Hillary Clinton has carried a wallet or money clip or whatever since 1992, I will eat my Atalanta Braves hat. Get real about these things.
Blog Reading Level

cash advance

24 Delayed Indefinitely

The WGA strike has done what Middle Eastern terrorists, crooked presidents, and Chinese torturers have been unable to do --stop Jack Bauer.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Giuliani and the Evangelicals

Sounds like a British Invasion band from the '60's or a Josey & the Pussycats knockoff, no? I made a snarky comment earlier about Parson Pat Robertson endorsing Rudy Giuliani for president. As a jaded alumnus of Robertson’s Regent University, you will forgive the indulgence, but it was necessary. There are more intellectual things to say about why evangelicals are turning to Giuliani. Well, they are not all equally intelligent, but I will get to that in a minute.

I first heard the rumor about the endorsement while flipping channels this morning. I stopped on Joe Scarborough’s show for a bit. He replaced the much more enjoyable Don Imus on MSNBC. Scarborough is not as much fun as Imus, but he seems to be an earnest guy whose is trying to be funny without making the same mistakes as Imus. But I digress. Scarborough was talking about the impending endorsement with Chris Matthews over the phone. Matthews remarked evangelicals seem to be warming up to Giuliani and asked Scarborough, a former Southern Congressman, why he thought this was true. Matthews was fishing for anti-Mormon bigotry as the answer, but he did not get it.

Instead, Scarborough told him evangelicals thought the war on terror was the most important issue in the 2008 election and Giuliani is the guy who has pledged to fight terrorists the toughest. Evangelicals believe radical Islam is a direct threat to their way of life. To them, the war on terror is a battle of civilizations important enough to overlook Giuliani’s liberal social positions. They want Giuliani as the gatekeeper keeping out the wolves and they will worry about the social costs later.

Is that true? Probably to some extent. But the answer Matthews was fishing for has some validity, too, and more. Evangelicals do not want a Mormon president. They probably do not want a Catholic president, either, in the best of all possible words, but this is not the best of all possible world. Not to mention evangelics fly into a purple faced rage over the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming president. Bob jones III made that clear when he endorsed Romney. Sure, his stated issue was abortion, but I can tell you right now the BJU crowd thinks women are little more than livestock and not to be in positions of leadership. There is the double whammy for you.

Scarborough may be right about evangelicals believing the war against militant Islam is a holy cruasade that will determine the future of the world. I am not so sure that is actually true, however. In Europe, perhaps, where entire school systems have stopped teaching the Holocaust so as not to offend Muslim parents by indoctrinating their children with “Zionist lies.” But in the United States? No. In fact, I think our paranoia and overstatement of the conflict is tearing us apart. We cannot even decide whether simulated drowning is torture, people. I think we ought to worry more about the self-inflicted destruction of our culture before fretting over the Muslims. But, oddly enough, I think Giuliani is the right man for that job, too, so I cannot complain too much.
The WGA Strike, Day Three

I am running out of creative names for these posts. They are all abouy the overall WGA strike, so I am just going to start numbering them. I was not expecting to write much about the strike in the first place, but three days in and we have managed all sorts of interesting stuff. This is going to be a bloody struggle rather than the long, boring lulls with occasional developments.

The reason it is going to be a brutal work stoppage has been revealed. Apparently the studios called for last minute negotiations in bad faith. They offered the WGA a higher percentage of internet download revenue if they would drop their demand for increased DVD royalties. The WGA leadership opted to do so in order to come back to the table, much to the consternation of the WGA rank and file. Things fell apart when the WGA felt duped by the studios for reasons which are disputed by both sides. Suffice to say, neither side wants to talk to the other right now. Not only that, but the DVD demand is back.

Along the lines of production, there is a rumor floating about 24 will be delayed until the fall so every episode can be produced and aired nonstop. Like Lost, the show could not manage to get all its scripts together in time to produce an entire season. Kiefer Sutherland’s DUI jail time may have played a factor, too. I cannot say. As far as I know, there has been no official word from FOX on the delay, either, so treat it as you would any rumor at this point.

Half a season of Lost and no 24? This sucks big time.
Pat Robertson Endorses Giuliani

No surprise there. Robertson hates Mormons more than Catholics, but only by a hair.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Kucinich Moves to Impeach Cheney; GOP Allows

Rep. Dennis Kucinch, the crazy UFO enthusiast, bankrupter of major American cities, and sugar daddy to a pretty hot British chick, not to mention long shot presidential candidate, introduced a privileged resolution on the floor of the US House today calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney on the grounds of leading the country to war in iraq under false pretenses and failure to uphold the Constitution. Democrats quickly moved to table the resolution, but due to a plan from Rep. John Shadagg, Republicans kept the resolution alive to force Democrats to debate the issue.

The GOP opted to force debate believing it would be a good opportunity to make Democrats look bad. Such might have been a decent plan if the Republicans want to paint the Democrats as time wasters. But Cheney has a 11% approval rating. The notion of politicians wasting time might take a backseat to the idea of getting rid of Cheney. It is not just a liberal desire. The GOP would like to edge Cheney out as well for a clean break with the White House.

Not that the plan would work, either. Cheney could be impeached, tried, and convicted in a matter of weeks, but Bush would still have the power to appoint a new Veep. Knowing him, he would pick his brother, Jeb. Selecting a family member would be a huge abuse of power even JFK could not get away with these days. Even if Bush surprised me and selected one of the presidential frontrunners, I am not convinced Giuliani or Romney would refuse the job to avoid the taint. It might very well be a job to good to refuse under normal circumstances, but not under a president who is slightly more popular than the bubonic plague..

Kucinich introduced this as a privilged resolution, which means he can bring it up again and again if he so desires.
Obama Kept Colbert Off the Ballot

Barack Obama, who is apparently staking his campaign on youthful voters, urged the South Carolina Democratic Party to keep comedian Stephen Colbert off the ballot because of his appeal to young voters.

I am not sure what to add to that. I think it best reveals what a tenuous position Obama is in and he is aware of it. Hillary Clinton appeals to older voters and her husband is still popular among African-Americans. She will utilize him in the Palmetto State to maximum effect.

A lot of pundits claimed early on Obama would be a favorite in South Carolina where Clinton is viewed as a cold, unfriendly Yankee. It may not turn out that way. If Obama has to trample on a comedian in his quest to win South Carolina, he is revealing just how insecure he is about his chances.
WGA Strike Halts Productions

As soon as I said nothing interesting about the WGA strike would come in the near future, it does. I am just going to stop making predictions altogether. I cannot even get them inside the ballpark, it seems.

The WGA has been pounding the pavement since yesterday. The late night talk shows opted to halt production entirely rather than aired stripped down celebrity interviews with no monologues or other comedy bits. Today comes word other shows are following suit. Production has ground to a halt on The New Adventures of Old Christine, The Office, 30 Rock, Rules of Engagement, Moonlight, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, and— wait for my big crying, wailing and gnashing of teeth --Lost. If the strike drags on, the latter two will likely have their seasons cut in half. By the time you read this, other shows will probably have joined the list.

Obviously networks had contingency plans in the works along the lines of new reality shows and such, but I wonder how much more pressure the complete work stoppage will put on them? There has been some false information floating about, which may be wires crossed rather than deliberate misleading, in regards to studios’ secure position. You may recall the 14 out of 16 Lost scripts already written assurance a couple weeks ago which turned out to be a mere eight today. Not to mention even reality shows and game shows have writers. Will they opt to stand in solidarity with the WGA like some SAG members are doing?

Will it make any difference? It will eventually have to. Like the baseball strike of 1994, the fans have been taken completely out of the equation. Television viewers can write to the Powers That Be at studios and ask them to negotiate in good faith, but that will not mean a darn thing other than give the letter writer a nutty and probably false sense of accomplishment. So now, we just sit and wait.
Jessica Simpson Almost Fell

Jessica Simpson attended the Ace Awards in New York City when her heel got caught and she nearly took a tumble. What we got out of it was this unflattering photo.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The WGA is Striking

After much sound and fury, the writers are officially on strike as of 12:01 AM, which should be right about the time this gets posted.

I doubt there will be a heck of a lot of frequent or interesting news coming out of the strike for a while. It would appear studios are making plans to put lots of writerless shows on after January. CBS, for one, is planning another Big Brother for the spring. FOX will hang its hat on American Idol and 24, which along with Lost, may be the only scripted show on the boob tube for a while. NBC has even allegedly toyed with the idea of airing Battlestar Galactica''s final season the major network rather than the Sci Fi Channel. do not hold your breath on that one.

I will post any interesting developments if and when they occur. labor disputes are not really a field of interest I relish. But at least i promise not to make any, "So, have you seen anything good on television lately?" jokes.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Castaway

I watched Castaway for the first time tonight. I was actually flipping between the movie and the Patriots v. Cots, but I figured I should not pay much attention to it since I was pulling for the Colts, I knew they would lose. They did. Ever since I doomed the Rockies by pulling for them in the World Series, sports teams of a all stripes have begged me not to take an interest in them. Both the Gamecocks and the Panthers lost, too. I may soon be run out of sports fandom on a rail. But back to the point, this was the first time I had seen Castaway.

Not only had I never seen it before, I have some how managed to avoid spoilers about the ending, which I am going to spoil here in a minute, so if you want to remain a virgin, you should quietly slip out the back now. Most of what I knew was Wilson the Volleyball and that was pretty much all from parodies and cultural references in other locales. So I pretty much had a clean slate going in other than my usual expectation of tossing a coin to decide whether I will like a Tom Hanks movie. I did like Castaway, for what it is worth, but I was surprised by the ending.

It surprised me because I had forgotten Hollywood could be so cynical. Essentially, Hank’s character, Chuck, survives for four years stranded on a deserted South Pacific island with nothing but a volleyball and a photo of his wife in a locket to keep him company. It was fascinating to watch Chuck slowly degenerate mentally and emotionally during his ordeal, even to the point he treats Wilson as a child would a stuffed animal or doll. What is even more amazing is to realize the bulk of said deterioration is demonstrated by Hanks as the onlt human actor for the longest time on screen. No wonder he wound up with his umpteenth Best Actor nod, although I believe he lost out to Russell Crowe that year.

But here is where things turn strange—for Hollywood at any rate. There is this big build up that the only reason Chuck is staying alive is to get back to his true love. At one point, which is awkwardly addressed in the past tense twice, Chuck decides to give up and hang himself in order to end his physical and emotional pain. His plan fails and something tells him there is a reason he needs to stay alive. So he redoubles his determination to do so. Eventually, he is able to build a raft and escape the island. So hard times pass at seas, including losing Wilson, before he is rescued.

You would think we would headed for a happy ending here. We are not. Everyone thought Chuck was dead and have moved on with their lives. His sweetie has remarried and does not even have the nerve to show up to greet him when he gets stateside. Instead, she sends her new husband. That is a low blow I can barely put into words. The two eventually do meet back up and have a bittersweet reunion in which you almost think several times she might dump the husband we already do not like because he is an interloper as far as we are concerned, but she does not. Chuck drives off into the night because he knows life has passed him by.

He finally delivers the package that he was trying to when his plane crashed four years previous. Country singer Lari White, cameos as the recipient. There is a brief flash there in which you think the two of them see sparks flying, but they do not. The movie ends with Chuck at a four way crossroads wondering where to go from here. It is left up in the air why there was a dire need for him to stay alive. He figured it was because his wife was waiting for him and you really wanted to see that right before the credits rolled. No such luck. Hollywood took a slice from real life. Just because you suffer does not mean there is something good on the other end. Those feelings of having a higher purpose are not messages from on high as much as maybe indigestion. You will probably wind up, as Chuck did, wondering what the heck all that crap was for.

The best part is the movie ends there rather than with Chuck going onn every talk on television, landing a book deal, and selling the movie rights before eventually replacing Jeff Probst as host of Survivor. All that mosdt certainly would have happened, but the movie’s ending made sure you never got a hint it would. I found it amazing the film would end on such a downer ending.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Dog the Bounty Hunter Canceled

Revenger through tabloid media is the new way for family members to get back at each other. recall the vicious message Alec Baldwin left on Kim Basinger's answering machine for his daughter a while back? Basinger released it to the public, but nothing came of it other than confirming most everyone's suspicion Baldwin was a pompous jerk. Now Dog's son has done something similar, but this time it worked.

Let this be a lesson to you, if your son is dating a girl from another race, do not use any epthets or it will likely be recorded, sold to the media, and cause nervous networks fearful of negative press to can your television show. I do not know what compelling entertainment Dog fans are going to replace their beloved show with. Watching the mosquito zapper, I guess.

The best part is a do not recall the Rev. Al Sharpton complaining about Dog's rant. when Sharpton considers you too unimportant to raise a stink about, it is time to pack it up.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The WGA Will Strike

Barring a last minute breakthrough in negotiations, the Writer's Guild of America will begin striking one minute after midnight Sunday.

I suppose that sounds more ominous than saying, "Hey, y'all. We're striking on Monday." But they are writer's, so I guess they have to have some sense of theatuh. The WGA leadership will notify everyone through a mass e-mail, which seems a bit anticlimatic after all the sound and fury preceding the strike.

By all accounts, the work stoppage will be a long one, so say hello to a shortened television season, lots of reruns, and new reality shows. Cannot wait, huh?
Stephen Colbert's Presidential Run Ends

Well, that was quick.

A couple weeks ago, comedian Stephen Colbert announced he was going to run for president only in his native South Carolina. Last weekend, he came to the University of South Carolina for a rally in which he promised to crush Georgia. seemed like good, clean fun.

Colbert's plan was to appear on both the Republican and Democrat ballot. the Democrats, however, nixed the idea, despite Colbert filing all the proper paperwork and paying the $2,500 filing fee. Party officials stated that felt Colbert was using them to further his comedy routine. You would think they would be accustomed to that by now since that is what the SC republican Party has been doing to them for years.

It was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November Rain

We have reached my least favorite time of the year. Calling it my least favorite actually does not do it justice. Everything about it seems tailor made to push my buttons. The weather turns cold. Sure there will still be days when it is sunny and in the 70’s, but those days just make it easier to catch cold. Speaking of which, I woke up this morning with a sore throat. That does not do it justice, either. This morning, I woke up with one of Satan’s trusted lieutenants poking the back of my throat over and over again with a fiery trident. I drank some vitamin C, but I fear it is too late for that to even knock the edge off.

*grumble* *grumble*

November is the beginning of the holiday season and the end of the year. It is supposed to be a time of reflection and celebration of all that has come during the year. You know, a thanksgiving for your blessings and a reminder at Christmas of hope for the New Year. I guess a lot of people buy into that stuff. Maybe at one point, I do, too. But those days have long since been dumped into the ashbin of personal history. I am not interested in reflecting on the last year. Blessings? I cannot recall the last time I thought any day was a gif even though, as the admonition goes, I am not promised another.

In the middle of it all, I have my birthday which has lost every ounce of any meaning it ever had. That is a natural occurrence when one reaches the wrong side of thirty as I have, but there still seems to be a bigger bug up my butt than that. Who knows what? Maybe I will be more articulate about it when the time draws near. But to top it all off, the New Year comes and I am supposed to celebrate having to do it all over again? Whoever came up with this scheduling ought to be canned.

It is true I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, but my feelings about this time of year are valid and are not going away. Brace thyselves, gentle readers. If you want ketchup with your raw me, you merely have to ask your humble host.
Lost--"Run"

Shall we start the month off with a new music video? This one features the "Alcatraz" storyline which ran through the first thirteen or so episodes of season three. It features all the trimmings, a good November word to use. The video is set to "Run" by Snow Patrol. The song may be a bit overdone these days, but I still like it.