Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Goodbye, Brooke White

Brooke White’s luck finally ran out tonight. I did not think she was going to survive her Andrew Lloyd Webber flub last week, especially when Webber himself marveled in his interview she had no clue what she was singing about. Ironically, his complaint had nothing to do with her false start screw up and, hey, misunderstanding the meaning of songs did not hurt Taylor Hicks. Until his post American Idol career, at any rate. Someone should send out search parties for him and Reuben Stoddard. Send Sanjaya. He is not busy.

She dodged a bullet and I got one more week of my favorite. I liked last night’s rendition of “I Am, I Said” even though I am not the world’s biggest Neil Diamond fan. I can only think of him as the guy peddling his greatest hits album on late night television commercials years ago and Will Ferrell’s impersonation of him as a drunken sociopath. Somewhere in between there a Tony Orlando lurking: a decent guy, a Vegas mainstay, but I am too young to care.

But the poor girl butchered “I’m a Believer.” Even during her performance, I was thinking the same thing Simon Crowell eventually told her. It sounded like drunken karaoke night with the girls. I figured she was done for. Brooke is a balladeer. When she sang “I am, I said” and “Let It Be,” ahe shined. I imagine this is not the end of the road for her. She will still get a record deal and find her niche. I suspect it will be in country, but today’s country music scene would probably suit Ms. Never seen an R-Rated Movie best.

I cannot end a mention of American Idol without talking about Paula Abdul’s total lapse of reason last night. She fully critiqued Jason Castro for a song he never sang.She could not remember he had only performed one song. She quickly fumbled around an excuse she was actually critiquing another contestant, but the cat was out of the bag. Paula is just out of it. Even Simon felt sorry for her and cut to his critiques to salvage her dignity. He can be classy, in his own way.
The GOP's Secret Weapon: Jessica Simpson

Pres. Bush joked he would like to send Jessica Simpson to the Democratic National Convention this summer in an allusion to accusations Simpson jinxed the Dallas Cowboys' chances in the NFL playoffs by serving as a distraction for quarterback Tony Romo. She made Terrell Oweens cry, too.

But if she wears the same outfit she is wearing in the above photo, it just might work. Of course, then Poppa Joe would harass John McCain to give her a cabinet post.``It could still work, though. A cabinet secretary's only job is to take the blame and resign when the president screwws up. surely she could handle that.
John Edwards' Gamble

All eyes appear to be North Carolina right now because of its primary on Tuesday. Odd, methinks, since virtually no one thinks the state is in play while Indiana, which holds its primary next Tuesday as well, is a must win for Hillary Clinton if she is to maintain any of the tenuous credibility her campaign has.

She has certainly gone all out in the Tar Heel State. Some of her efforts have been pitiful. She called for a debate sans moderators to beat up on her in the back of a pick up truck bed if necessary. Add in a Holding a Greased Piglet contest and she just might have won over a lot of voters with the idea. I mean, we have only had like, what? Fourteen debates already? If either she or Brack Obama has anything new to say, I have long since lost any interest in knowing what it night be.

The second bit that got me was the suggestion she would appoint a Poverty Czar. It was a blatant attempt to woo former Sen. John Edwards’ endorsement shortly before the North Carolina primary. I cannot image what help she thought Edwards would be. Not only could he not get elected to any statewide office again, not only could he not carry the state for John Kerry in 2004, but he is a blatant opportunist who is holding out his endorsement until there is a clear winner. He wants a Cabinet post from whoever wins and does not want to alienate either candidate yet. By the time he is really to choose, it will matter even less than it does not.

So Clinton has to settle for the endorsement of Gov. Mike Easeley. It surprised me that he gave her the nod. I figured since obama is so popular among Democrat pols and voters, he would certainly pander to them. I am unfamiliar with him or the dynamics of NC politics. I do not know if he has a political machine or is a maverick tweaking his own party like our Gov. Mark Sanford seems to relish doing.I am curious to see what impact he will have.

Interesting question: is Edwards miscalculatin or is there a possibility Clinton will be the nominee? I have assumed up until now the super delegates were pretty much behind Obama and even some early Clinton backers have buyer’s remorse. I also figured there would be outrage if the nomination were taken away from Obama considering his popularity in just about all quarters. Is there really a possibility the super delegates would commit political suicide by choosing Clinton?I would be shocked.
Jack Bauer Rides Again

The previously scuttled plot line involving an African revolution will be featured in a 24 television movie airing this fall.
Fathers & Daughters

I honestly thought this was the most disturbing Father/daughter photo I had ever seen. Maybe it is because Vanity Fair is trying too hard to sex up fifteen year old Miley Cyrus. Maybe it is because Billy Ray Cyrus is obviously trying to cash in on his daughter's success. She is raking in $ 1 million dollars a week with an unknown period of time until she turns into a Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan style train wreck. Get while the getting is good.

But, no, for some reason it just seems like a creepy father daughter pose. I have zero paternal instincts or much of an eye for fashion photography, so what do I know? The only thing I do know for sure is it has been replaced as the most disturbing father/daughter photo by this one:Thine eyes are not deceiving thee. That is indeed Hulk Hogan rubbing sun tan oil on his daughter, Brooke Hogan's, behind. At least Poppa Joe has the decency to sucker an NFL quarterback to cater to Jessica simpson's intimate needs. Hogan appears to be more hands on.

In all fairness, the new trophy girlfriend he took up with before his divorcing wife slammed the front door for the final time looks just like Brooke. Perhaps he is just getting senile in his old age or maybe he took too many of the steroids Vince McMahon supplied him in the name of the good, clean family fun that is professional wrestling.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Sleestak are Back

Next summer brings us the latest remake of a goofy science fiction concept, Land of the Lost. I am a child of the ‘80’s, not the /70/s, so I first saw land of the Lost in reruns, as a child, post Star Wars. My vision of what science fiction was supposed to be did not fit the adventures of Marshall, will, and Holly in spite of the fact many episodes were written by golden age science fiction writers trying to scrape out a decent retirement from television because the old penny a word magazines were not paying royalties forties years later.

I do not have much faith in this movie version, either. Will Ferrell will play Marshall making me suspect even cheesier production values than Sid & Marty Kroft got away with decades ago. About the only worse idea I can come up with is Rob Schneiderr as Gilligan and Jessica Simpson as Ginger in a big budget Gilligan’s Island remake. Although Kelsey Grammar as the Professor would be inspired casting.

All that said, I have posted some concept art below of the Sleestak, the lizard men who inhabit rated the lost land. For whatever reason, I am happy they are going with the old fashioned man in suit creatures rather than CGI. The only major difference with them for the movie is they will no longer carry crossbows, but will use spikes off the backs as traditional arrows. The change makes more sense considering the level of technology the critters supposedly have.
Obama v. Wright, Round, uh...Four?

I am not terribly sure why Barack Obama supporters are fretting over the reemergence of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It is true Wright threw Obama under the bus the other night at the National Press Club by dismissing Obama’s disagreements with him as pandering to get elected. That might be one of those truths that everyone quietly believes, but no one is allowed to say. It is also true both Hillary Clinton and John McCain, not to mention private groups, are going to use Wright against him. But if there is one thing I have noticed about Obama, other than how many people I consider clueless are supporting him, is he is the most Teflon politician since Bill Clinton.

Obama is actually very fortunate. In spite of the fact Wright has had no lingering effect on Obama’s popularity, he gets a second chance to completely denounce him. Wright’s attention hogging offers Obama a chance to look noble by allowing him to once and for all denounce Wright’s anti-American, racist, and anti-Semitic beliefs once and for all.

It can only be beneficial because the more exposure Wright gets, the more people dislike him. Get ready to see more of him in spite of that fact. He is writing a book that is expected to be published around November. The time frame is no coincidence. Obama is Wright’s gravy train. Not to mention Wright has an axe to grind after being snubbed by Obama at the announcement of his presidential campaign in Springfield, Illinois what seems like forever ago.

Wright promises to not go away if and when Obama is elected president. He would then represent the country the good reverend most wishes God would damn, after all. Wright is a media glory hound and an incredibly greedy opportunist who would rather seek out fame and fortune as an annoying iconoclast rather than settle down to his ten million dollar mansion and quietly await his “reward” in heaven.
Doctor Who Music Video

Here is my music video for "The Fires of Pompeii." The Doctor and Donna arrive in Pompeii a day before Vesuvius erupts. Video is set to "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. Yes, I know. It is the second country song in a row i have used for a Doctor Who video. But it is the legendary Johnny Cash, people! I could not think of a more appropriate song, either.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ships of Light

Do you remember those ships of light the crew encountered during later episodes of the original Battlestar Galactica? Starbuck has been painting several of them on that mural she was working on in the Demetrius. Here is a photo comparison:
Knowing this, I would speculate the idea Starbuck was somewhere captured by the Cylons and is being used by them is incorrect. She must have been taken by those strange inhabitants of those ships, assuming they are not something else in the current series.

Considering Apollo was killed in the original series and revived by those people for a higher purpose, it makes sense Starbuck may have been killed and revived in order to lead the way to earth. But why did the Cylon Hybrid warn she was the harbinger of death? was he speaking from the Cylon perspective rather than the human? If so, then she may be thesalvation of the human race instead.
Clinton Leads McCain Nationally by Nine

I do not know how this happened, noe do I believe it is significant, but you have not heard the last of it from the Clinton campaign.
Blasphemy on American Idol?

Was Carly Smithson voted off American Idol last week because of blasphemy? Oddly enough, it is a distinct possibility. Suspicions her loss was not about her singing skills appeared almost immediately. Randy Jackson openly lamented the show was becoming a popularity contest rather than a talent show and Paula Abdul assured Smithson this was only the beginning of her career. I think she is correct. Smithson is a natural for singing rock and roll.

The problem appeared to be her song choice. Smithson belted out the main title to “Jesus Christ Superstar,” a musical many Christians think is blasphemous because it portrays Jesus as being full of doubts about his role and hints at a romance with Mary Magdalene.

As an aside, I will concede the idea Jesus may have had an affair with Magdalene is offensive. But Jesus did pray in the Garden of Gethsemane for God to spare him from being crucified. That he went through with his ultimate sacrifice anyway is part of the love he had for sinners. Why are so many Christians so adamant in denying Christ had to overcome the obstacle that what he was going to do was the right thing? He took a leap of faith to do what was right. Is that not what Christian are supposed to do as well?

In the song Smithson sang, Judas Iscariot questions How Jesus presented himself on Earth and asks him to contrast himself to Buddha and Mohammed. Message boards dedicated to American Idolfilled with viewers upset over the song’s message. In spite of a good performance., Smithson received the fewest votes of the evening.

I am not going to complain about why she was voted off if indeed it was a matter of viewers being offended by the song. I am a big advocate of voting for your candidate for whatever reason you want to no matter how embarrassingly stupid your rationale may be. But I am fearful this incident may cause Idol contestants to water down their song choices to avoid offending potential fans. I already only watch the show sporadically whenever the theme suits me. I would have no problem not watching at all if I did not enjoy the song choices. I am sure I am not alone in that regard.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Doctor Who Finale Spoilers

It is mostly a Doctor Who blogging day and not a Mormon writer, real or imagined, in sight. Rejoice, my fellow Whovians! The rest of this entry is spioilers for the rest of the fourth season. Most are from Russell t. Davies himself in interviews with reputable sources like the Radio Times or from on set accounts. Neither means they are totally carved in stone, but if you want to remain a virgin, skip the rest of the post.

The title of the penultimate episode is being kept a secret because it is a major spoiler for the season finale. Word is the episode is titled “The Battle of Sharro,” which would confirm the return of Davros. Evidently Dalek Caan was successful in finding his creator and reconstituting the Dalek race. Rumor is there are some new models, including ones with claws and legs. Allegedly, there are photos floating about with Billie Piper as Rose Tyler filming with a red Dalek. If such photos exist, I have been unable to find them.

Rose is responsible for the disappearing planets that have been mentioned in the background of episodes. Her transporting between the parallel Earths is causing catastrophic damage. The Doctor warned her in “Doomsday” rescuing her would collapse both universes. Apparently, she did not take heed. The rift she is creating between dimensions dumps the Cybermen into Victorian England for not only the 2008 Christmas special, but but dumps other critters across time for the other seasonal specials throughout 2009.

Donna is the Rani. She was the one who picked up the Master’s ring during the funeral pyre scene of “Last of the Time Lords.” That would explain why she was able to control the TARDIS in “The Sontaran Stratagem.” from whatever reason, that did not seem to raise the Doctor’s eyebrow. Eventually it will, because Donna will not survive the season finale. Just when I was beginning to like Catherine Tate, too.

The surviving members of Torchwood show up. After the events of the finale, they recruit Mickey Smith and Martha Jones to replace the deceased Owen Harper and Tosiko Sato. John barrowman is definitely reprising his role as Capt. Hack Harkness, but I am very skeptical of Gwen and Ianto showing up. However, That Mickey and Martha are joining Torchwood. next season has all but been confirmed. The third season will film a few months later than usual so it can run in the April to June spot normally held by Doctor Who.

I do hope the whole Torchwood team shows up. I am a big fan of Eve Myles:For her acting skills, of course.
Another Hollywood Strike?

The SAG will decide this week whether to accept their new contract proposal.
Doctor Who--"The Sontaran Stratagem"

There were a couple of big returns this week. Which one you liked the most depends on how geeky you. I, for one, was happier to see Freema Agyeman reprise role as Martha Jones. After her adventures with Capt. Jack and his merry bunch, Martha has become a full fledged doctor with a great deal of clout with UNIT. It is great to see her as a strong character rather than the love struck companion she was last season. Of course, she still winds up being captured and used as a pawn, but what companion has not had that problem? At least some intelligence was used in getting her in the predicament.

Secondly, the Sontarans have returned. They have not appeared in Doctor who since 1985’s “The two Doctors” with Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and the time displaced Second Doctor played by the later Peter Troughton. I have seen two of the Doctor’s past adventures against the Sontarans over the years, but have little nostalgia for them. I will concede some longtime Whovians might be more excited to see the armed baked potato heads return in all their glory.

“The Sontaran Stratagem” suffers from what many first parts of two part episode suffer. It is all set up with no payoff until the next episode. I cannot even say the cliffhanger hooked me anywhere near as much as past two parters. To be fair, I will not judge the story too harshly until I see it in whole.

A company has been producing devices that eliminate all carbon emissions on cars. They have become required for all cars now. ATMOS, as it is called, attracts the attention of UNIT, particularly when 52 people are killed simultaneous across the planet by a toxic gas released from ATMOS. The device was invented by a boy genius who, for whatever reason, has thrown his lot in with the Sontarans in a bid to reshape the Earth. Another part of their plan is to clone Martha to hamstring UNIT.

At least, I guess that was the plan. The Sontarans have released the gas in 400 million cars, which will presumably kill around that many people for a purpose that is not quite clear yet. Altering the atmosphere, I suppose. The Doctor said more than once UNIT was no match for the Sontarans, so why would they need Martha? But the best question is why would a boy genius help aliens destroy his home planet? I hope there is a huge payoff here.

One good bit here was Donna. I am actually starting to like Catherine Tate. I would have never thought it possible. She is much less submissive to the doctor than just about any companion I can recall without without coming off as obnoxious as her past scetch characters are famous for acting. I am pleasantly surprised she has pulled that off. I could have done without that small exchange in which she is going to visit her family, but the doctor mistakes it for her leaving permanently. It was not really funny or necessary.

Rating: ** (out of 5)Baked potato heads, indeed.
Reese Witherspoon

Just because.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Battlestar Galactica--"Escape Velocity"

This was a bit of a curiosity. Every episode this season was advertised as a vital part of the overall arc, but I am not so sure how the story was furthered along here. I read someone’s comment earlier the episode was like Lost’s “Eggtown.” it answered a longstanding question for seemingly no other reason than to get it out of the way. I concur, particularly in regards to thr aftermath of Callie’s death last episode and Tigh’s identity crisis now. The religious morality tale involving baltar was another heavy handed matter altogether.

Callie was treated as a major character the entire main crew mourned. Perhaps they were all at the memorial service as a favor to Tyrol. Either way, it puzzled me for the show to make such a big point of her death. Even President Roslin was there. Tyrol is unaware Callie was murdered by Tori, but as comfortable as she is becoming in the realization she is a Cylon, including having no remorse for the murder, even if she did have a logical reason for killing Callie. It is going to become clear soon. Tori’s comfort in turning off emotions even lead Tigh to interrogate the captured six over whether Cylons actually can block emotions. He is feeling the guilt over his wife’s death. Six reveals she knows he is a Cylon.

Tyrol appears to be the only one of the four not growing comfortable with his true status. His emotional distance leads to an accident that nearly kills two pilots, a blow up with Adama, and a demotion. I can only speculate about anders. He isstill with Starbuck in deep space and only seen in a closing montage of Baltar’s speech to his followers.

Speaking of, we have the relious morality tale. Early on, it appeared the episode was going to be a comment on the futility of religion and its irrelevance in modern society. That seemed to be what Baltar was trying say when another sect trashed his and his followers’ home, then he discovered one of his faithful was still worshipping one of the old gods just for good measure. Baltar trashes a service by the sect that attacked him. I could not help but be reminded of Jesus attacking the moneychangers at the temple.

The allusion was intentional. After being imprisoned, Roslin seeks to ban his followers from assembling. Encouragement from Imaginary Six and intervention yet again by Lee Adama puts an end to that. This is the second time Lee has come to Baltar’s aid despite the fact it makes his skin crawl. Interwsting, though. Imaginary Six wants Baltar’s religion to continue. Lee, whom some speculate is the fifth Cylon, made an effort for that to happen for what he believes is general principle. Is this another clue Lee is a Cylon? Regardless, the whole incident leads Baltar to believe he is blessed by God even though he has been a terrible man. Do the Cylons want him to be a messiah?

I was pretty "meh" about this one. Too bad, considering how few there are left to go.

Rating: ** (out of 5)
Gillian Anderson

Because X-Files II is currently filming with Anderson, David Duchovny, and none of that other junk the show was cluttered with in its last two seasons. That makes me as happy as sunshine on John Denver's shoulders.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Clyburn's Clinton Conspiracy

Have you heard the latest conspiracy theory surrounding the race for the Democratic presidential nomination between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? It is a doozy. Even more of a nail biter than Senate majority Leader Harry Reid saying yesterday he, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and DNC Chair Howard Dean might --just might --right letters to the undecided super delegates once the primary season and urge them to make up their minds. That will show ‘em. I would suggest singing telegrams, but I am a conservative from South Carolina, so I doubt Reid would care about my opinion.

No, this notion has been making the rounds because of our own resident loon, Rep.. James Clyburn. Do not get me wrong. He rightly suggests Clinton is doing heavy damage to the relationship beteen the Democratic Party and black voters. I imagine Bill Clinton will take another shot at dismissing black voters once North Carolina hands Obama an overwhelming victory. But then he takes it just a wee bit too far. Clyburn speculates Clinton knows she is going to lose the nomination now, so she is trying her best to sabotage Obama so he will lose to John McCain, then swoop in to grab the nomination in 2012.

It is a fun theory to kick around, but totally implausible. I have no doubt Clinton will take her chase for the nomination to the last desperate measure she can. Both Clintons are do whatever it takes to win types who do not care who they destroy in the process. They are the finest example of liberal entitlement to leadership in American politics. But come on, how can she sabotage Obama? All the claims of his inexperience and dirt she has been tossing at him is readily available to the McCain camp. It would have been used in the general election regardless. Obama is going to rise or fall on his own merit without anything Clinton has said or done affecting him.

However, the more she fights, the more mud she slings, and the more Democratic colleagues and voters she alienates, 2012 is going to be a pipe dream for her. It already is. That is why she is fighting so hard for such an impossible goal right now.
More Lost Hieroglyphs

It has been a while since we have been in this spot, no? after Alex killed in "The shape of things to Come," Ben opened a secret passage in his house. The passage was blocked by the stone door pictured above. the door has hieroglyphic writing much like the "to cause to die" glyphs on the swan Hatch's warning system. but what do these mean?

i am no expert, but using this Wikipedia page, it appears to say, "man summons weapon." Ben never seemed to be completely in control of the smoke monster last night. It was just that he summoned it like the glyphs apparently say. Old Smokey still seems to be an automated defense system to protect the island's interests. It would appear either repelling the freighter mercenaries or saving Ben was in its best interest. i doubt there was any revenge motive for alex's death on Smokey's part.

Let me go ahead and throw this in while I am at it. there are two interesting points about Ben when he appears in Tunisia:First, we have never seen that DHARMA logo before. it is presumably from the Orchid, one of the hatches we have yet to see featured on the show, but was introduced at ComicCon International last summer in a new orientation video. you may recall it was the onewith the numbered rabbits and a mysterious incident off camera that halted filming.

Second, the name tag on Ben's parka is Halliwax. That is the alias used by Dr. Marvin Candel in the Orchid orientation video. Candel has a prosthesis for his arm arms in previous orientation videos. Ben's right arm had been injured right before arriving in Tunisia.

Could that be related? is there something about the Orchid which tends to wound the right arm? Ben appeared to teleport and was confused about the time frame of his arrival, not to mention he was wearing a parka on a trip to the Sahara. It is open to speculation why. Teleporting may lower the body's temperature dramatically. Ben may have not even been on the island at the time. He is looking for Penelope Widmore. her boat crew monitoring signals in the season two finale was at the South Pole. perhaps Ben was there looking for clues to her whereabouts and was wounded in a scuffle.

Beats me at this point.
Jennifer Aniston in a Bikini

Because Angelina Jolie does not do it for me quite like Jennifer does.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lost--"The Shape of Things to Come"

Oh, Lost, how I missed thee! I almost lost half of you to the WGA strike. Now I got most of you back and it was worth the wait. “The Shape of Things to Come” answered question about the mythos, cranked the stakes up about four notches, changed several characters forever, and interestingly enough, turned Ben Linus into a sympathetic character. He is such a brilliant creation to begin with. He goes from mysterious to psycho to sympathetic, then back again. After viewing the change in him during tonight’s flashforward and knowing why it occurred, I have a new attitude about his past determination to defend the island at all costs. Not that I justify any of it. He is clearly amoral. But at least I understand it.

The bulk of the episode centers on Ben. The only bit that does not is some bookend bits with Team jack. A body washes up on shore at a time when Jack appears to be suffering a stomach ailment that is getting progressively worse. Daniel identifies him as the doctor from the freighter. Jack insists Daniel make some sort of contact with the freighter after finding the body. Daniel uses some equipment salvaged from Oceanic 815 to eventually send a morse code message. He tells Jack the message he got back claimed the helicopter would be coming tomorrow to rescue them. Bernard, who I believe was in the Navy, informs Jack that is a lie. Daniel reveals the freighter crew have no intention of ever rescuing the Lostaways.

On the other side of the island, it is revealed the freighter crew attacked Rousseau, Carl, and Alex. They have Alex hostage and force her to shut down the security fence. They brutally assault the barracks, killing every background character who joined team locke. In a teasing nod to the fans, they blow up Claire’s house with her inside and while Aaron is safe with hurley just as some have speculated Kate must have wound up with Aaron. Surprise, though--Sawyer finds her in the rubble and they all hold up in Ben’s old house.

The freighter mercenaries threaten to kill alex if Ben does not give himself up. He refuses, so they shoot her. Brutally murdering a sixteen year old girl in prime time television is a gutsy and disturbing move. Ben turns into a grieving father who then uses Old Smokey to attack and kill the mercenaries. Thescene was absolutely amazed as far as special effects were concerned. It looks like Ben lied big time when he told Locke he has no idea what the smoke monster was.

He, Locke, Sawyer, Hurley, Claire, Aaron, and Miles escape the destroyed barracks. Miles appears to have had a change of heart, too. He throws his lot in with the Lostaeways, claiming the freighter mercenaries would have killed him, too. He heads for the beach with sawyer , Claire, and aaron while the other three head off to find the cabin to seek advice from Jacob.

The flashforwards were equally great. Ben wakes up in the Tunisian desert. The he is forced to fight off armed men and make his way to the capitol city. There he watches on television as sayid, now a celebrity member of the oceanic six, being harassed the media at his wife’s funeral. Sayid found nadia after getting off the island and married her. Ben encounters him in Iraq where he plans to bury Nadia. Ben reveals to Sayid one of Charles Widmore’s henchmen killed her in California. Sayid demands to kill the guy in revenge and Ben helps him do so. Sayid pledges to help Ben track down and kill the rest of Widmore’s people in revenge for the deaths of Nadia and Alex.

Sometimes later, Ben arrives in London. There he invades Widmore’s penthouse suite. The tense conversation is very enlightening. Widmore cannot find the island. He believes Ben has stolen whatever makes the island significant from him. Ben wants to protect the island, but he has no intention of killing Widmore. He is an eye for an eye advocate. He plans to kill Penelope Widmore to even the score with him.

Wow. Just wow. If Michael Emerson does not get an Emmy nod this year, the awards need to cease being handed out. But back to the episode. A date has been firmly set for Sayid’s turn to the dark side. Ben appears in Tunisia in October 2005. It appeared to be late winter or early spring in Germany during “the Economist,” so we can assume it takes place in early 2006. We have to assume last season’s Jack flashforward must take place in late 2006 or even 2007. The oceanic six evidently stay off the island quite a while.

Aside from the incredibly disturbing murder of Alex, I also got a lump about Penelope Widmore being brought up as someone Ben wants to kill. One because I assume Sayid would be the one to do the deed, but more importantly, I feel for the whole Desmond/Penelope romance. I ave kicked around the idea they will have a happy ending. With the time travel aspect of the show, they may even be the Adam and eve skeletons found in the first season. But I have to wonder now if it will not end tragically. I am thinking there is too much of The Odyseey in Desmond’s story for it to end well. Not that I believe Penelope will definitely be killed, but who can guess with Lost?

Rating: **** (out of 5)
Wesley Snipes Sentenced to Jail

Actor Wesley Snipes has been given the maximum prison sentence for tax evasion. he will serve three years on three counts of misdemeanor tax evasion.

Follow the logic on Holywood justice here. Wesley Snipes gets the book through at him for tax evasion. Martha Stewart goes to prison for insider trading. Paris Hilton, Keifer Sutherland, and Michelle Rodriguez serve long jail sentences for DUI. However, OJ Simpson, Robert Blake, and Brandy all get off after killing someone.

The message here is clear: do not drink and drive, pay all your taxes, but if you you need some tension release, go a head and kill someone. Just for heaven's sake, no drunk driving or cheating on your taxes, please. (Link.)
Jenna Bush May Not Support McCain

Surely you jest? Next you will tell me Chelsea Clinton will not campaign for Baraxk Obama.

Seriously though, Jenna Bush told Larry King she thinks everyone ought to make up their own minds about candidates rather than blindly support one ideology. I cannot argue with that. To me it proves she has been unspoiled by living in partisan political circles for most of her life. Of course, we already knew that by her hard partying.

Do note that Larry King finally weaseled an interesting answer from a guest, too. How long has it been since he has done that? apparently quiteawhile since CNN has not committed to bringing him back next season.
Ladies of Lost: Rebecca Mader

Lost returns tonight for six episode run to complete the fourth season. Who better tocelebrate the occasion with than newcomer Rebecca Mader, who plays mysterious anthropologist Charlotte Staples Lewis?

Names have meaning on Lost. Often characters are named after philosophers. Charlotte staples Lewis' name can be shortened to C. S. Lewis, the famous Christian theologian and the only philosopher students at Regent university do not believe is burning in hell for ever and ever and ever. True story.

I will be watching tonight and covering the episode here. It promises to be a wild ride. it would appear the production team has kept spoilers much more under wraps than last year, but what I have run across thus far has been very exciting. Including Mader. She is hot.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Play It again, Sam

Something interesting to note for those amongst us amused by the often leftist indoctrination often seen in popular entertainment. A very subtle nod to the pro life stance slipped under the Hollywood radar many moons ago, but I caught it then and again tonight. The ION Network has begun rerunning an old favorite, Quantum Leap, three nights a week. The short week is presumably to not burn through the very unfortunately short eighty episode run. Tonight they aired the first season episode, “Play It Again, Sam,” an homage to film noir detective stories set on April 14, 1953.

What is so special about that? The theory behind Dr. Sam Beckett’s time travel is that he can only leap within his own lifetime. It has been established Beckett’s birthday was August 8, 1953--four months before this episode occurred. One could consider the discrepancy a slip up because it happened in the show’s initial thirteen episode tryout. But is that really true?

It is very doubtful. The Episode was written by the show’s creator, Donald P. Bellasario also wrote the bible for the show which is handed out to freelancers to explain all the ends and outs of the characters and what facts guidelines they have to work with. A key point in writing for Quantum Leap is the date of the episode has to be between two fixed points: the beginning and end of Beckett’s lifetime. It is doubtful the beginning date would not have been established by Bellasario well before he established the date for “Play It Again, Sam.” August 8th ought to stick out well in his mind, too. It is his actual birthday.

Bellasario is a devout Mormon. The odds are quite good is is personally pro life. The date of “Play it again, Sam,” implies, by the show’s established rules, Beckett’s life began at conception. It is a pretty neat touch for a show I really enjoyed back in the day.
Dodging a Bullet

Even after suffering a false start last night, Brooke White survived another wee on American Idol. Whew.
Obamania Takes a Hit

Have you ever seen a more dejected media than the post Pennsylvania crowd today? It has never been an exaggeration they were firmly in the Barack Obama camp. Heck, Keith Olbermann ought to be on the campaign payroll. Most everyone agreed Hillary Clinton was going to win the Keystone State. We certainly heard that enough over the last six weeks. We also heard continually that a ten point margin would equal a game changer. I guess they were either assuming Clinton could never make such a margin or they could pull Obama over the finish line themselves.

It has been known since Ohio and Texas the race for the Democratic nomination was going to the super delegates. These primaries are pretty much irrelevant at this point beyond letting voters have their say-- something Howard Dean is losing patience with, by the way. If you thought the democrats were the party of the people, think again. Dean wants the bigwigs to crown Obama and sweep Clinton under the rug.

So does the media, it would appear. Clinton’s victory was no small feat. It is getting a heck of lot more press than Mike Huckabee’s triumphs at the point John mcCain had all but had the nomination sewed up, yet they are assuring us the win is just as meaningless. ’A ’sliver” of credibility is how Andrew Sullivan described it. I have heard almost nothing today except Obama’s endorsement by every elected Democrat in North Carolina from county dog catchers on up and Clinton’s money troubles. Lots and lots about her money troubles. Do not forget the tons of rationalizations for why Obama lost.

He is still going to be the nominee. I cannot imagine enough super delegates deciding Clinton looks more like a winner. But you know what? I am coming to the conclusion she is. I wrote about my aversion to obama yesterday. Turns out my aversion is to the democrats his major selling point. Obama did best in Pennsylvania college towns with new and young voters. Guess what? There are not many of them and the few there are lose interest quickly. Remember how the youth vote was going to knock Bush out of office in 2004? It did not happen.

Obama is quickly looking like George McGovern. He is a candidate for the idealogues, the peaceniks, the dejected, the bitter, the hippies, the socialists--every boogey man conservatives hate even if they are more imagined than real. But they do not have to be real for places like Missouri and Pennsylvania to reject their candidate in favor of a war hero like McCain. I do not think it will dawn on the Democrats in time a centrist yuppie like Clinton would give them a better shot.
OJ Wants to Be on Celebrity Apprentice

Sadly enough, Donald Trump and NBC would like to go for it, but believe there would be a certain amount of "heat" involved.

Gee, you think?

Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows he got away with murdering his ex-wife and her boy toy. Not to mention he is pretty likely to enjoy his golden years behind bars for his armed robbery in Las Vegas last year. What would bringing him onto the show do? Class up the joint?

Trump is an egomaniac who wants to save his sagging show, so he would let Charles Manson on if he thought it would boost ratings. But i assume NBC, even though it is in last place, will have enough sense to dismiss the idea. Even if it comes to pass, surely other celebrities would refuse to participate in protest. I can imagine Celebrity Apprentice becoming as much a graveyard for has beens and never wases as Hollywood Squares used to be. Not that it would stop VH1 from picking it up should NBC mercifully pull the plug.
Doctor Who Christmas Special Filming

Any previous theories the doctor may regenerate in the fourth season finale, "Journey's end," can be put to rest. here is a photo of David Tennant filoming the 2008 Christmas special. As you can tell by the period costumes, the special does take place in Victorian times.Speaking of Christmas specials, here is a promotional photo from the 2007 special featuring singer Kylie Minogue posing with a Dalek. Christmas has long since passed, but this was too good to pass up.Why is Kylie Minogue not a bigger star in the United States? It baffles me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pennsylvania Primary Results

Well, I got close in my prediction. Hillary Clinton was winning Pennsylvania by a ten point margin win I gave up on watching the coverage and started a Scrabblous game on Facebook. I kept popping back in to election coverage while doing other things (John Smoltz got his 3,000th career strike out tonight, but the Braves still lost the game 6-0. Smoltz was the only guy on top his game.) until I got fed up with how many commentators were making excuses for Barack Obama. The consensus was Pennsylvania was Clinton Country so of course Obama was going to lose. But just wait until the next couple primaries, etc, etc.

The truth is Clinton won with a margin too low to really put her back in the race but still high enough for her to keep going. Does that seem like a contradiction to you? It essentially means she cannot win through pledged delegates even ig she sweeps the remaining primaries, but she cannot quit after a victory even if it is insignificant.

I doubt the win is going to give the super delegates much pause. While obama cannot deliver the knock out punch and he has lost all of the largest states, he has too much going for him for the super delegates to suddenly lend credibility to Clinton. Even though she won tonight, she does not smell like a winner. The super delegates know it and so do her dwindling number of campaign donors. Obama is awash with cash. Clinton is running on fumes.

How much do you want to bet she wins Indiana anyway?
Campaign Stars

Yesterday, the Department of Defense announced the Campaign Stars to be awarded veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I always find these things fascinating, both as a history buff and a political scientist. As far as history is concerned, war is all part of the human story. A tragic one, no doubt, but only the dead have seen the end of it. From a political scientist standpoint, it is interesting and sometimes bemusing to see how campaign durations are measured.

For Afghanistan:
(1) Liberation of Afghanistan – Sep. 11, 2001 to Nov. 30, 2001.

(2) Consolidation I – Dec. 1, 2001 to Sep. 30, 2006.

(3) Consolidation II – Oct. 1, 2006 to a date to be determined.
First and foremost, I am happy to see the 9/11 attacks considered an act of war against the United States. In many ways, that fact has been lost during recent years. Rudy Giuliani discovered the hard way when he learned we are not the post 9/11 generation, but the Iraq war generation instead. Perhaps the lesson will serve him well when he runs for governor of New York in 2010.

I am curious why the liberation is not considered to have extended beyond November 30th. The Taliban was not fully routed until after the battle at Tora Bora. That did not take place until well into December. Perhaps it was because the Northern alliance was (unwisely?) allowed to take charge there. .

The Iraq War campaign stars are a bit stranger:
(1) Liberation of Iraq – March 19, 2003 to May 1, 2003.

(2) Transition of Iraq – May 2, 2003 to June 28, 2004.

(3) Iraqi Governance – June 29, 2004 to Dec. 15, 2005.

(4) National Resolution – Dec. 16, 2005 to a date to be determined.
Would you not think “Resolution” ought to come before “Governance?” or is the sequence brutal honesty about how the plans for the war have not matched reality?
Going the Distance for Net Neutrality

If you wanted to get geeks involved, this is certainly how to do it.
Pennsylvania Primary Predictions

It has been ages since we have had a Democratic primary. It seems even more hellish when you consider Pennsylvania is all pundits have had to talk about for the last six weeks. Talk they did, too. About absolutely every jot and tittle from Barack Obama’s pitiable bowling score to bruce Springsteen becoming a turncoat. Somewhere in between they managed the occasional meaningful discussion, mostly because George F. will often shook his head and clicked his tongue in disapproval over the intellectual slumming. Or not.

I have made a habit of offering up predictions before the results are known. Today shall be no different. Hillary Clinton will win Pennsylvania by five or less percentage points. With the way delegates are allocated, she will still not make inroads against Obama’s lead. However, she will add the argument Obama cannot win the big states to her attempts to woo superdelegates. She will not drop out of the race even if she loses, but I doubt any super delegates will be swayed her way if she wins.

Clinton is not going to be soundly beaten until Indiana and North Carolina. Those two states will award more delegates than Pennsylvania, so Clinton’s Keystone State victory will be erased with an even larger margin. So, to be honest, Pennsylvania will be a hollow victory for Clinton unless she can pull off a double digit win. I doubt it will happen.

You know what? I am becoming irritated by Obama. I am a John mcCain. I was not going to vote for either Obama or Clinton, but I did not have any major gripes against the two. I would have made no claims to moving to Costa Rica if one of them were elected. Life really does not change much depending on the president. But Obama‘s attitude is beginning to grate on me. He honestly believes America is ignorant, racist, bitter, and degenerate, but with a national scold like him as our moral guide, we will manage. I think that is the effect Rev. Wright had on him. It is the characteristic I like least about him. I would rather he not be the nominee for that reason, not just because I think McCain would have an easier time defeating Clinton. .

Monday, April 21, 2008

Doctor Who Rumors

Some Doctor Who rumors are circulating around the internets regarding the season four finale and the Christmas special. Yes, it does feel weird thinking about Christmas now, but the special begins filming in Gloucester next week. The BBC plans far ahead, no? From this point on, here be spoilers and completely unfounded speculation on my part. If you wish to remain a virgin, skip the rest of this post.

I am going to start with the Christmas special since the only confirmed bit we know already is the Cybermen return to earth during the Victorian Era and bring some golden Wraith Cybermen with them. There has been some speculation Billie Piper and Catherine Tate will appear. I have doubts on both counts. In fact, I am not so sure the doctor will not regenerate in the season finale, leaving another actor to play the Eleventh Doctor.

Billie Piper has said she was getting too comfortable on the show and wanted to try new things. So far, that has meant play a hooker, getting married, and thinking about having kids. I figure the handful of episodes she is featured in during season four are probably it for her. But the BBC kept her cameo in “Partners in Crime” a secret, so maybe she could very well show up for a last hurrah.

Catherine tate has gone on the record as agreeing to one season and one only. It sounds like there is a special, season long plan for her character. Considering the soothsayer’s prophecy that she is carrying something on her back, I would say it is probably so. I figure it is a story to be wrapped up in the season finale, as will Rose’s arc. Surely there will be a clean slate for the Christmas special and beyond.

Some photos have been floating about which hint the Judoon will return for the finale. It makes sense if Davros is featured. He is a war criminal who has been imprisoned before by intergalactic authorities. The Judoon interest in him would be a given. I am also thinking Davros has attached something to Donna and is leading the Doctor into a trap. The big question is which Earth are we talking about being invaded by Daleks? I would guess it is the Alternate earth Rose was stranded on. That might make every character --the Judoon, Davros, and the Daleks-- from the parallel universe. Would that be kind of a gyp? I am going to hold off judgment until I know for sure exactly what is what.

The penultimate episode is rumored to be titled “The Battle of Skaro. Sincedavros‘ home planet has been destroyed, one assumes if it is being brought back somehow, Gallifrey cannot be too far behind. If so, there would be a gaping plothole. The Face of Boe told the Doctor he was not alone. He meant the Master was still alive. Or at least we thought that was all he meant. Could the message be extended past last season to include all the Time Lords? Russell T. Davies might think that is clever. I would call it sloppy and absurd.

Planets disappearing is a running theme thus far. Maybe lots of them are going to return once it is all said and done.
Nana Visitor to Play Pamela Vorhees

Nana Visitor, who played Major/Col. Kira Nerys on my favorite of the Star Trek shows, Deep Space Nine, will portray Pamela Vorhees in the upcoming Friday the 13th remake. Yes, i see no point in a remake, either, but at least no one handed the reins over to Rob Zombie this time like Halloween. there was a travesty for you.

Visitor will not be in the film long. The quick decapitation of Vorhees will be at least one aspect of the original movie carried over to the remake.

I really could not care less aboutthe remake or the original franchise, for that matter. I just have fond memories of visitor as Kira Nerys and I have not posted a half naked celebrity photo in a while. I thought Visitor had disappeared from the radar, but it turns out she was on a family friendly show called Wildfire. it appears she wants to shed that image by playing a psychotic mother who literally loses her head.
Light Up a Cigar

During my blogging hiatus over the last week and a half or so, I missed the opportunity (if you want to call it that0 of noting two months had passed since my surgery. Two months is eight weeks and eight weeks is the amount of time post surgery I was supposed to continue wearing the clasp around my abdomen. Truth be told, the actual instructions were to wear it for eight weeks definitely and as long as it is not bothering me, keep on afterwards. It was a less than subtle hint I am going to be a hernia risk for a while to come.

I will confess, the clasp has grown on me. It itches like mad from time to time, but it has been quite comfy as winter stuck around south Carolina much longer than normal. I wanted to kill that freaking groundhog. The clasp has been supportive, too. I can see why it helps to prevent hernias. I finally figured out why weightlifters often wear thick bands around their waists, in other words.

Nevertheless, I have been eager to get rid of it. I have been weaning myself for the last couple weeks. I get sore when I do not wear it for a while. It is not pressure on the repair work, although I was paranoid at first it might be. It is actually a weakening of my abdominal muscles caused by the clasp doing most of their job over the last two months. It is an unavoidable trade off for not ripping the sutures apart by daring to do something as bold as say, sitting up or *gasp* walking and therefore starting back at square one.

I know a fellow in my hometown who had surgery years ago. It took a heavy toll on him because for some complications I can fully explain, he could not be stitched up for a long time. He laid in intensive care for weeks under a moisturizing tent taking constant measures to prevent infection. How he kept from going bonkers, I will never know, but I do know he had a head full of black hair before surgery which turned completely white by the time it was all said and done. He wound up with a clasp that he still wears some eight or nine years after surgery. He says he cannot get out of bed without it these days. He also says he has a hernia, too, but he is just going to live with it rather than go through all that misery again.

I cannot say I blame him. I thought hernia surgery was going to be just like having my appendix removed. You know--fell bad for a couple days, then wear your pajamas for a week, eat icecream, and watch cartoons. I had no idea how strenuous the complications could be. I am not just talking about the obstructions I suffered immediately afterwards, but the incision not healing for a year before there was no choice but to operate yet again. Granted, when I die, they are going to rename Murphy’s Law in my honor, but even my pessimist self was amazed by the sequence of events.

Nevertheless, I am now without the clasp more than with. I may be firmly on the wrong side of thirty, but my abs have slowly but surely whipped back into shape. These days I only wear the darn thing when leaving the house. I am still paranoid about being out in circumstances beyond my control. I chalk the decision to wear it up to prudence rather than necessity. I feel better that way. You are not supposed to keep crutches longer than you have to, you know?

I am really trying to get rid of all reminders of what the last two months have been like. Since the gaping wound I had for a year previous to surgery has healed properly, you can safely assume I would like to forget the last sixteen months entirely. Too bad I cannot, huh? The surgery in February was a huge hurdle to crawl over before reaching the finish line. I say with great caution I have passed over it. Probably came in last, but I never expected to appear on a Wheaties box anyway. The ordeal left some baggage, but hey, that is why I keep on writing.
Paging Fox Mulder

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Second Place Means Being the First Loser

Check out the size differential between the first place trophy won by Danica Patrick and the second place trophy won by some guy I do not know and have no interest in finding out about:That is pitiful. I will bet the index finger was not his first choice for the one he wanted to stick out.
Easy Like Sunday Morning

Guess what, folks? I slept today and missed the Sunday news shows. But as usual, I did not miss a darn thing. I can virtually guarantee talk was of nothing but the Pennsylvania primary. What more could possibly be said about the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton? Even Bob Novak is more fake news than usual this week with a column that speculates Chuck Hagel might endorse John McCain in one breath and Hagel might be Secretary of Defense for either Clinton or Obama in the next. He is not even trying to pass himself off as a legitimate journalist anymore.

Here is the thing: Clinton will probably win Pennsylvania, but Obama will get so many delegates, it will be a Pyrrhic victory at best, but she still will not drop out. The media will not come right out and say she should, either. I have seen enough articles with titles like “Time is Running Out for Clinton” to line Big Bird’s cage and none of them tell the truth-- she should have dropped out once Obama won most of the Texas delegates. Clinton has been running the last two months solely on a flimsy win in Ohio. It is not enough.

I do not follow Indy car racing, but I am aware that Danice Patrick is the Anna Kornikova of the sport. By that, I mean she is really hot so no one cares if she actually wins. That all changed yesterday when Patrick became the first woman to win an Indy car event. I am curious to find out if the Old Boy’s Club is happy for the positive exposure or annoyed the spotlight is shining completely on her.How could any guy be upset having something like her to chase after?

Fox has renewed The Sarah Connor Chronicles for a second season. There has not been an official press release yet, but cast and crew are busy working on new preproduction.. It was the only new show I developed any interest for. Perhaps that is not fair, since the WGA strike kept most any show from gaining a foothold. If it were not for the upcoming relaunch of the movie series sans the Governator, I doubt it would have made it. Cross promotional wins out over creativity every time, no?

It will be cool to see what may develop now that the writers have some breathing room. I have gotten a certain episodic vibe to thwe show like The Fugitive or The Incredible Hulk rather than a show with an overall story arc. Often arcs do not develop in the first season out of fear of getting the axe, but if there is a connection between TSCC and the new movie trilogy, I am anxious to see the dovetailing.

Not to be a doomsayer, but next season hinges on whether the Sag can come to terms with the producers on a new contract. So far, not much progress has been made. I would hate to think we are on the verge of another strike, but we may very well be.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Doctor Who--"Planet of the Ood"

It is said you can judge a person by how he treats animals. Can you judge all of humanity by the same standard? “Planet of the Ood” takes a shot at it. In fact, it takes a shot at everything from animal cruelty to slave labor. It was enough to tug at the heartstrings, but I thought it was done much better earlier this year with Torchwood’s “Meat.”

It was cool to see the Ood again, though. The biggest head scratcher about them --how could a slave race develop separate from an enslaver --was answered. Tragically, I guess you might say. I also appreciated the Ood’s development beyond an allusion the Chthulu mythos present in “The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit.” I assume this was all part of a grand plan. Well, I have to admit I suspect Russell T. Davies did not have a grand, five year plan from the very beginning like he claims to.

The doctor sets the TARDIS on a random journey. He and Donna wind up on an ice planet where they discover a dying Ood. The Ood develops a red, glowing eye condition and acts rabid shortly before it dies. Further investigation reveals a processing plant where humans are making slaves out of the Ood and shipping them off to other worlds. Lately, the ood have been getting red, glowing eyes and going rabid. The company running the place opts to destroy the current batch. The doctor discovers the Ood are being lobotomized in order to make them slaves. Somehow, after 200 years, they are becoming aware of their own plight and rebelling.

The Doctor discovers the truth: the plant is keeping a giant brain-- the Oodcentral mind --under an inhibiting shield. A spy from Friends of the ood has been dampening the field, thereby allowing the ood to realize what has been happening to them. The Doctor frees the brain entirely. The entire ood race are subsequently freed from their enslavement all across the galaxy.

There was some heavy handed commentary here. The extermination of the rabid Ood was compared to the slaughtering of livestock infected with foot and mouth disease I have to confess I am unaware of the reaction of animal rights activists in the United Kingdom over the measures to prevent that, mad cow, bird flu, and whatever else has come along, but as as a typical Ugly American, I thought killing the animals was necessary. It is a bit unfair to pin it on the bad guys here. The Doctor references products made in sweat shops and the like which Donna enjoys without thinking about where they came from. Meh. That is an economic utility debate for another time.

A freed ood noted the Doctor’s journey was about to end. I am beginning to wonder if RTD is going to have a regeneration into the Eleventh Doctor as a surprise in the season finale or if the prediction is another ’only sorta true” one like the second season prediction of Rose’s death or how most everyone thought “You are not alone” last season meant theTime Lords would return. I am guessing the latter, but with a notion like the journey is coming to an end, it finale is going to have to deliver.

Rating: *** (out of 5)Here is an ood for anyone who might be reading, but does not watch the show. You get a good sense of the Siberian gulag feel the processing plant was an allusion to. Gray, drab, and very cold. it was almost a little too much, but their hearts were in the right place.
Battlestar Galactica--"The Ties That Bind"

Now there was one ballsy ending. I wish it had not been subtly telegraphed in last week’s preview. The shock value would have been intense. The show has a habit of killing off characters as well as Lost does, but I am still amazed at the circumstances the writers can come up with for them so as to avoid the trappings of a ratings stunt. More on it in a moment. The overarching them of loyalty was what really held the episode together. Or falling apart, depending on your perspective.

The Cylons are quickly tumbling towards a civil war. Cavill is more amenable to Six and her demands. The Centurions are developing a sense of their enslavement by the “skin jobs” and are beginning to resist commands given to them by either side. Six reveals her plan to reunite the Twelve Models, which would first involve reviving the boxed d’Annas. On her way to doing so, Cavil opens fire. Six and her allies are destroyed and not permitted to be reborn. That certainly will not be the end of it. At this point, it is not clear whether another Six will step up or the Centurions will further realize they are getting the short end of the stick and rebel.

Lee adama takes his position on the ruling council. It becomes readily apparent Roslin has not forgotten his role in Baltar’s war crimes acquittal. Roslin has been taking all sorts of steps, including the establishment of tribunals, to consolidate her power. I heard the screams of commentary on the Bush Administration’s antiterrorist measures, particularly when the Vice President told adama that while he realized it was a power grab, it was not tyranny but the greater good. There is a conflict brewing between Adama and Roslin. I suspect it will parallel leftist thinking about Bush Administration policy. Gee, did not see that coming, did you?

It looks like half the Galactica crew is running the Demitrius. They have been out for over three weeks. The crew is frustrated because Starbuck seems to be leading them around in circles. Truth is, she does seem to be going mad. They are no closer to earth this week while she keeps driving a hard wedge between herself and Anders. Who is still keeping his true nature as a Cylon a secret.

Finally, Tyrol’s realization he is a Cylon is destroying his marriage. Callie catches him one night confiding in fellow hidden Cylon tori. She believes it is an affair up until a slip up cues her to a meeting of tyrol, Tigh, and Tori in which she learns they are all Cylons. Later, Calluie attacks Tyrol and runs off. She is completely distraught about her life, the revelations about her husband, and the knowledge her child is a half Cylon. Tori discovers her. They talk, seemingly in a reassuring manner, before Tori attacks Callie, takes the child, and shoves her out an airlock. It is the first time it becomes clear keeping their true nature a secret is a priority for Tori, Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders.

Rating: *** (out of 5)
Jessica Simpson Drunk as a Skunk

I would think it was funny the girl is a lightweight in the liquor department, but tabloids are reporting she had to be taken to the hospital after a particularly heavy indulgence. Even scarier, she allegedly requested a pregnancy test while there.

If true, the incident offers a lot of fodder. Is she trying to get herself pregnant so Tony Romo will marry her? If so, the Dallas Cowboys will never win another game. They might as well bite the bullet and draft a quarterback in next week's draft.

Can Poppa Joe finally get his $ 1 million for first baby pictures? i assume tabloids would pay more for Jessica's baby than for Ashlee's. poor girl is always destined to play second fiddle. or fake playing it like the Monkees used to do. It probably would not be so bad if it were not Jessica Simpson she was second banana to.

Finally, i know it will be an uphill battle, but someone needs to explain fetal alcohol syndrome to both of them. Pronto.

Friday, April 18, 2008

200 Days Out

There are exactly 200 days left until Election Day. Feel free to shudder.
The Democrats' Impatience with Democracy

Howard Dean, weary of that whole democracy thing, has ordered the superdelegates to make their decision now. I can understand his rationale. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama exposing each other’s bad points, essentially doing John McCain’s dirty work for him. Considering how cash strapped the McCain campaign is, they are doing him a huge favor. I also think dean would like to sweep under the rug the fact there is a super delegate system in place to choose candidates in the first place.

The whole concept betrays the Democrats’ distrust of the unwashed masses. This time around I doubt they will overturn the will of rank and file primary voters. Obama looks like he is both the popular favorite and the candidate of choice among the party leadership. But what if he was not? Suppose there was a situation like the Republicans have with McCain not very popular with conservatives and super delegates having a chance to hand the nomination to, say, Mitt Romney? Most people have never noticed the superdelegate vote. Now they will. The question is whether they will run through scenarios like the one I just suggested?

At this point, the nomination decision is going to the superdelegates anyway. Clinton could practically sweep the remaing primaries and not win. It is becoming more likely, considering Obama’s gains in Pennsylvania, she may not win any. I think it would be best to let the primaries play out, have Obama annihilate Clinton in them, and then let the super delegates rubberstamp his nomination rather than just picking him outright. A lot of controversy could be avoided that way.

On the other hand, the cynic me wonders if liberals would really care if a group selected their leader on their behalf. It would finally quell anger about the 2000 election. I am convinced had the SCOTUS ruled in favor of Al Gore, you would have never heard any rumblings about the voice of the people not being heard. If party elites choose the candidate --and worse if they make the unlikely choice of Clinton --they will risk looking like hypocrites. Honestly, why have Democrat party primaries at all? .
Obama Flips Clinton the Finger

"Wait...are you filming this???"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

WGA Strike Aftermath

As expected, fans are not returning to their old favorites as new episodes air.
Poppa Joe Exploits Other Daughter, Too

Just in case his less talented 9assuming that is even possible) daughter has been feeling neglected, Poppa Joe Simpson is shopping around the rights to the first photos of her baby. Bear in mind up until a couple days ago, the family was denying Ashlee Simpson was even pregnant. I guess it took awhile to realize slipping up during premarital sex could be a money making venture. Perhaps Poppa Joe was too busy sizing up Tony Romo.

he is asking for $ 1 million in spite of the fact no one would pay that kind of money to see Ashlee naked, much less the kid in any form. Estimates are at $ 60,000. Meh. Better than nothing, right?

Pete Wentz is the father, in case you wre wondering whether Ashlee has decent taste in men. yeah, that kid is going to be completely screwed.
The Debate Debate

True to my word, I did not watch the debate. I have already her some critiques about it, however. From what I gather, it was Bsrack Obama’s worst performance, Charles Gibson and George I Am Not Even Going to Try Spelling Your Last Name and I Am Too Lazy to Google It Anyway dumbed the questions down, and Hillary Clinton is still not going to be the nominee regardless. For elaboration, I am just going to comment here out of my rear end even more than I usually do.

First, Barack o bama had a poor performance. Well, cry me a river. He is facing a fellow democrat now with whom he differs very little on the issues. Naturally the debate is going to get personal when there is little variation in ideas. If it catches him off guard now, wait until the general election when he and John McCain go at it over both political issues they differ on and the personal. Throw in some 525 advertisers who will not have McCain’s sense of fair play in campaigning and Obama will quickly realize he is not going to coast to the white House as easily as he currently believes he will.

Second, the questions were dumbed down. Of course they were. It was network television in prime time. They key to success in prime time television is to make viewers happy enough to not change the channel. Introducing each round of questions by a bikini clad model holding a scorecard would not pass muster, so the old axiom that if you make people think, they will hate you, but if you make them believe they are thinking, they will love you.

Finally, Hillary Clinton will not get the nomination regardless. Yeah, we kind of figured that out a couple months ago. But thanks for playing.
Kristy Lee Cook

Gone from American Idol, but not forgotten.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Return of the Cybermen

The above photo is from filming of the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special. The new Cybermen make a return visit to Earth. This time they are in Victorian England. From the looks of this one, the trip from the Void must not have been a pleasant one.

The reappearance of the Cybermen opens up lots of possibilities. We know rosereturns even though she is trapped on Alternate Earth. From rumors that surfaced about the season finale, Rose is part of a human resistance on a post apocalyptic Earth. Fulfilling that whole ’Rose Tyler, Defender of the Earth” idea Russell T. Davies had a few years ago, methinks. That Earth has been taken over by Daleks lead by Davros.

Could it be the Daleks the Doctor sent into the void were freed by Davros and invaded Alternate earth? Conventional wisdom thus far says Dalek Caan from the Cult of Skaaro must have found Davros and used him to recreate the Dalek race. But it makes sense not to consider the void imprisoned Daleks being spit out onto Alternate earth while the Cybermen were dropped into Victorian England.

All just speculation at this point, but if the other rumors of Mickey Smith joining Torchwood are true, then a pathway between our Earth and alternate earth has to be opened at some point. Rose was a projected hologram in “Partners in Crime,” but Mickey and the Cybermen would have to physically be able to cross the void. Considering the guest stars of Capt. Jack Harkness and Sarah Jane Smith, promised in the finale, I would guess that happens and it runs both ways.

Brooke White will be back for another week.
Election Blues

So, are you bored with the presidential election yet? I am. There is a big televised debate tonight on ABC between Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama. I am not planning on watching. At this point, I am more concerned that my baby Brooke White is going to be voted off American Idol. that is right. I have adopted the main concern of the average American, minus the bitter gun toting. Or something like that. Clinton keeps dragging up Obama’s statement on the issue, so I have a tough time taking sides.

Besides the faux battle that only Clinton believes is actually meaningful, I am disappointed in John McCain. I will freely admit I only caught the tail end of his college forum with Chris Matthews, but his parting words reminded me a lot of Bob Dole during the 1996 campaign when he realized earlyon he was going to lose and decided his legacy should be to change the party. Remember when he wagged his finger at the podium and told all the bigots to leave the convention? Watch for McCain to do him one or three better when the time comes.

You see, I disagree with the conventional wisdom a prolonged battle in the Democratic Party is beneficial for McCain. He is neck and neck now with either one of them and that does appear to defy logic. But when Clinton finally drops out of the race, most of her supporters will jump to Obama and vice versa, though not as many I would imagine. Some may go to McCain, but I expect a huge bounce in the Democratic nominee. Maybe even ten points or so. It will probably stay that way right up until November unless something extraordinary occurs.
Battlestar Galactica--"Six of One"

Interesting stuff here. The beginning of the long rumored civil war within the Cylons has begun. It felt a lot like exposition added in to pad the main story of the crew dealing with Starbuck. Not to make light of it, mind. Every episode this season is part of the overall arc and not entirely a tale unto itself. You have to look at the big picture once it is all there for the big payoff. I can sense there is a good one coming.

The cliffhanger resumes with Starbuck ready to kill Roslin. Or is she? She hands the gun to Roslin and insists if she believes she is a Cylon, then she should be shot. Roslin firesat close range, but misses. Starbuck is taken into custody. She insists to Adama she knows the way to earth, but she is losing the knowledge as they head further in the other direction. Roslin thinks Starbuck will lead them right into a trap, but Adama has developed a faith in her after her miraculous return. In the end, he sends her off covertly to find a way to Earth.

On the BasStar, Cavil has decided to lobotomize the Raiders who fled from the attack on the Galactica last episode. They have somehow developed sentience and that is dangerous. A group of Cylons lead by Six resists. They have removed inhibiters from the Cylon Centurions. When the Centurions discover what Cavil is doing to their colleagues, they slaughter him and his allies to stoip the lobotomies.

There is not much else to say about the episode. It is early in the season when groundwork is being laid for the series finale. The only thing I have not mentioned which caught my eyeis further hints Laura roslin is the Fifth Cylon. Or maybe it is just too obvious. Her life has been one mitacle after another. It has been too much to have been a coincidence. The day of the attack on Caprica, she isdiagnosed with cancer, survives the attack, becomes president on a fluke, has visions that turn out to be true, and now that her ’work” is done is dying again of cancer. Is shetoo obvious a choice?

Rating: *** (out of 5)
Doctor Who--"The Fires of Pompeii"

Like every season thus far, the second episode is a lavish historical epic. Last year’s ‘The Shakespeare Code” was the most expensive Doctor Who episode ever produced. I would have guessed this episode surpassed that budget, but I have just learned after viewing “The Fires of Pompeii’ was filmed on existing sets formerly used by the late and much missed HBO series, Rome. I was impressed either way. It was easily the most impressive setting I have seen in the series, new or old.

The Doctorand donna arrive in what they believe to be Rome. They quickly learn they are actually in Pompeii one day before Mt. Vesuvius erupts. Before they can getaway, a merchant sells the TARDIS as a modern art piece art to a marble dealer. The pair track the TARDIS down to learn the man‘s daughter is a soothsayer who actually can foresee the future. It turns out to be an epidemic. There is a sisterhood of soothsayers and the town psychic, all of whom have developed foresight. Except none of them see the volcano erupting the next day. Odd, no? No time to worry about that. The soothsayers predict Rose is returning 9though not by name) and there is some sort ofsinster secret about Donna.

The soothsayers have been breathing in ask from beneath Mt. Vesuvius to give them their powerrs. They are actually breathing in particles of aliens made of stone who crashed under the volcano thousands of years ago and are planning to rise again. The Doctor is faced with a dilemma: Mt. Vesuvius did not just naturally erupt. He caused it, killing 20,000 people. But if he does not go through with it, he cannot destroy the alien plot. He finds the nerve to cause the eruption, rationalizing history has to be preserved.

Throughout the episode, Donna had urged him to warn everyone, but he insisted certain parts of history cannot be changed. it takes a Time Lord’s instinct to know which is which. Nevertheless, he and Donna debate the idea that anyone should be saved. Ultimately, the doctor saves the marble dealer’s family from certain death after passing them by in order to get to the TARDIS. It seems pretty clear Donna is going to serve as the Doctor’s morak compass throughout the season. I find his behavior grossly inconsistent. Sometimes he is merciful to a fault. Other times, he is brutally nonchalant. I am curious whether there will ultimately be a learning experience for him to force consistency on him.

A few notes here. The anachronistic references often fell flat. The Docotr quotes ernest Hemmingway, uses a water gun against on of the magma aliens, and winds up worshipped as a household god. These were clunky elements that stretched plausibility. Where did he get the water gun in the first place? The make up and CGI done on the stone covered soothsayers and magama aliens were fantastic, though. Enough so that I can forgive the goofier elements.

The Shadow Proclamation is mentioned yet again. This makes the fourth time after “Rose,” “The Last of the Time Lords,’ and “Partners in Crime.” Since the reference goes all the way back to “Rose,” it has to involve her return. Interesting also the aliens’ planet was destroyed just like the Adipose breeding planet. I assume they are connected somehow. If the odd’s home planet has been destroyed in the next episode, you can safely assume there is a pattern. What have Davros and the Daleks been up to? For that matter, what was Capt. Jack up to? Recall in his first appearance, he often used the destruction of Pompeii in one of his scams. No sign of him here, though. Surely he crossed the Doctor’s mind?

Rating: **** (out of 5)