Monday, February 28, 2005

Conclusive Proof That There Is No God

In the course of waiting on hold for 30+ minutes for Verizon dial-up tech support (after waiting 20 minutes for Verizon DSL support because their voice recognition system is on crack), I was subjected to a sax-heavy, muzakal rendition (perhaps I should say extraordinary rendition, it was that bad) of... wait for it...

"I Like The Way You Move".

So saxy it hu-urts.

Snowy Photoblogging

More photoblogging... God, I love the snow. Posted by Hello

My blinds are Teh Sexy. But BloggerBot kinda sucks. Posted by Hello

To be honest, I haven't got the foggiest clue what I'm doing right now, but they do look kinda like photographs.

Click here for more Digital Photo Madness with the new camera.

Inaugural Photoblogging!

I... Am... Photo... Man... Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Flat Statement Of Fact

If you claim that a war is worth fighting, and you are eligible to enlist but don't, then you are either a liar, a coward, or both.

Double-Sided, Side 2

Okay, Side 1 was an example of a completely incongruous pairing of albums, the Harry Nilsson and the Black Sabbath. For today's Side 2, we have two relatively obscure but excellent albums paired together. This was one of my favorite tapes, but it tragically disappeared when I was in high school. Fortunately, thanks to the magic of MP3s, I now have all of its content back again.

Side 1: Thomas Dolby, One Of Our Submarines. I think most people think of Dolby as kind of a novelty act, with songs like "She Blinded Me With Science", "Hyperactive", and "Airhead". One Of Our Submarines is a real album, with a coherent theme and sound which is very lyrical and haunting, especially songs like "Radio Silence", "Europa And The Pirate Twins", "Airwaves", "Windpower", and "Cloudburst At Shingle Street".

Side 2: The Nails, Mood Swing. Again, The Nails are viewed as kind of a one-hit wonder novelty act because of "88 Lines About 44 Women" (also on Mood Swing), but this is another good album top to bottom, especially "White Wall", which is grim and creepy ("They found him naked on the bed/His eyes were vacant, dark and dead") but still rocks. Musically, "88 Lines" is pretty representative of the whole album, somewhere between new wave and rock, with dark, hollow vocals.

God, I miss the 80s.

Saturday Night Blogpimping

I would like to take this opportunity to entreat my vast readership of three or four people to check out V's new blog, called, surprisingly enough, Codename V. V's first post is a most excellent deconstruction of the much-anticipated Anaconda sequel, Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, entitled "V. watches crap films so you don't have to!"

Here is but a small sample:
Some general observations: films about really bigass gigantor snakes are possibly more interesting when seen on a bigass gigantor movie screen, and not my 20-something inch television. Also, character development was incredibly poor. I am not even sure how many characters there were, as several of them seemed to be different incarnations of the same one or two guys. I'm sure they all must have had names, but none of the characters were really fleshed out enough that I remembered what they were called. There was "pompous British asshole who wanted to Win At All Costs", there was "rugged boat captain guy", "cocky oversexed doctor", etc.
Good stuff! I no longer have any need to see the movie, although I probably will anyway...

Saturday, February 26, 2005

At least *somebody's* plan is working...

Excellent Charley Reese piece (hm, suddenly I'm craving peanut butter-chocolate candies...) by way of oldwhitelady on how Bush is an ignorant, lying jackass who is going to destroy us all. Granted, that's not news in itself, but there were a couple of bits I particularly liked:
Mr. Bush has gotten Teddy Roosevelt's dictum exactly upside down. He shouts loudly and carries a small stick.
This is followed by an enumeration of the many ways in which Europe, Russia, India, China, and RussiaIndiaChina can eat our alleged-superpower lunch.

But the most chilling part for me was this:
One should remember what Osama bin Laden said. He did not say he would conquer us and convert us all to Islam. He said he would bankrupt us. If Bush gets us further mired in the Middle East by attacking Iran and Syria, as he seems likely to do, bin Laden might very well succeed. War is always a drain on the economy. War always produces death, destruction, debt and taxes.
Bin Laden and al Qaeda could never hope to defeat us in any conventional military sense, nor even to terrorize us to the point of surrender. But what they can do, and are doing with Bush and the Republicans' enthusiastic assistance, is to steadily wear down the United States' financial, political, and moral viability. Every day, we become less and less a shining beacon of democracy and free-market capitalism, and more and more a foolish, dysfunctional, theocratic, corporatist banana republic destined for the dustbin of history.

You cannot defeat your enemies by becoming them.


Way, way back in the dim mists of prehistoric time, before there were MP3s or Furbies, I relied heavily on home-brewed 90-minute audio cassettes (I would compare them to videotapes for the youngsters' benefit, but then I would have to explain what videotapes were). These fell into roughly three broad categories (yes, I like lists, deal with it):

1) Greatest hits compilations. I would borrow someone's tape collection of a particular artist, and selectively record the songs I liked the most, which usually boiled down nicely to a 90-minute tape. Not sure how many of these I did, but I know I have a Police one and a Billy Joel one (yes, well - I still kinda like a lot of Billy Joel, to be honest), and possibly a B-52s one.

2) Radio mixes. Usually a single station, per tape, which made them quasi-thematic. Starting with easy listening dreck from WYNY in NYC (middle school), and concluding with awesome "modern rock" from Live 105 in SF (college), with interludes for oldies in Portland one summer, and Dr. Demento throughout high school.

3) Double-sided. In other words, an album on each side. Usually by the same artist, like Talking Heads or Depeche Mode, but every once in a while I would mix and match.

Featured double-sided tape of the day:
Side 1, Nilsson Schmilsson.
Side 2... Black Sabbath's Greatest Hits.

Something in the dim recesses of my mind tells me I am going to Hell for this.

Anybody else have any bizarre audiotape anomalies to share with the group?

We have a winner!

v. has correctly identified today's movie quote as being from He Said, She Said, starring Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins. v. gets to pick next Friday's quote, and will be available to answer questions and provide hints.

For a wider selection of movie quotes to guess at and replace with your own, you might want to give the Movie Quote Contest a try - they're always looking for new blood.

(Trivia: the He Said, She Said quote was the first quote I ever posted there, way back in the days before there was registration or a moderator)

Friday, February 25, 2005

Friday Quote Blogging

"Sex with me is very good."

First person to guess the movie this is from gets to pick next week's movie quote. I will provide hints if necessary (and requested).


Okay, fine. Here's a cat, too.
The late, lamented Eek.
Best. Cat. Ever.

Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 24, 2005

At Lost

So, I've been following Lost since its inception, and generally enjoying it. My girlfriend and I have had some rousing debates over whether the castaways are in some kind of supernatural Limbo/Purgatory, or the subjects of some kind of alien experiment. The more I see, the more I have to believe that it's the former, unless we're talking about aliens so powerful that they might as well be supernatural.

Here is my evidence (factors like the extreme unlikelihood of surviving unscathed, Lock's amazing un-paralysis, and the spookily complete isolation can be explained by either scenario, and are therefore a wash):

1) All of the alien signifiers (the mysterious metal hatch, the climate-inappropriate and invisible fauna) can be explained away as corporeal figments of the kid's unusually powerful imagination, which is itself a compelling argument for the supernatural. And the fact that it pre-dates the crash makes alien involvement with it even more unlikely.

2) The doctor's recurring vision of his dead father.

3) The woman with the uncanny conviction that her husband from the tail section is still alive somewhere (this does not necessarily blow aliens out of the water; she could still have a psychic bond with her husband even if it was aliens that took him someplace else).

4) Almost all of the characters with backstory appear to be on the island for a reason, whether it be to work out their issues, attain some kind of heightened understanding, or prevent a Scary Baby from falling into the wrong hands. Again, it does not rule out aliens, but they would have had to be following all of these people closely for a long long time, and somehow orchestrate them all ending up on the same plane.

5) Many of the characters appear to be archetypes, some mythological, some more pop cultural (okay, some may just be in my head...). The doctor is the Healer, Sawyer is the Trickster, the hobbit guy is the Fool, Saeed is the Warrior (I think that needs to be hyphenated with something, but I can't quite pin it down), Lock is the Shaman with the intuitive understanding with the rules of the island, the kid is the Dreamer Who Dreams Reality, the pregnant girl is the Mother Of... Something Important (The Madonna?), Hurley is the Glue that holds everyone together. Still not sure about the Korean couple or the dad (possibly The Insecure Guy With A Chip On His Shoulder?); they may represent some kind of pair archetypes, i.e., the dysfunctional marriage torn apart by the husband's career, the estranged father and son trying to find common ground to reach other. Again, I guess aliens could be interested in how our archetypes perform under stress, but I doubt it.

Anyway, they better have a damn good ending for this. If it turns out that "It was all a dream!", someone's gonna die.

I also need to vent about the local ABC affiliate that decided to run a weather alert at the end of the last episode, which precisely covered up the subtitles of the Korean couple's dialogue and nothing else. Wankers.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Gannonother Thing...

As the Bulldogyssey continues, I thought I should bring up two things to keep in mind before we get too totally carried away with gaydenfreude and glee:

1) If the blogosphere or (snicker) mainstream media cannot breach the walls of deniability, this will remain a tawdry but minor scandal, a tempest in a teabag. Unless and until someone finds a financial and/or sexual (please let it be "and") link between James Garvin, Male Prostitute and someone big, the administration will successfully spin this as merely an embarrassing lapse of security, something along the lines of "Well, our buddy Eberle vouched for him so we thought he was okay," and those who want to believe in BushCo's pious Christian virtue will cheerfully continue to do so. We need something inescapable and unspinnable, like photos, videotapes, stains, or receipts, so please, for the love of all that is good and holy, keep digging.

2) Assuming that we do breach the walls of deniability, we must also remember that Bulldog is merely the narrow end of the bullhorn. The Democrats must do everything they can to use this to start spreading the message that for all their talk of family values, the Republicans are sleazy, immoral hypocrites. Monicagate was arguably the largest single contributor to the fall of the Democratic party, for even though the Republicans lost the impeachment battle, they won the electoral war by successfully using it to paint all Democrats as amoral, hedonistic sleazehounds.

And that image has stuck, even as we have run two of the most squeaky-clean, bolt-upright presidential candidates imaginable against a sneering, mean-spirited fratboy. It is not enough to be satisfied with smearing some Gannon dirt on Bush's shining armor, we must use it to paint the entire Republican elite (yes, elite - let's start using that word for what it really means) as something out of Eyes Wide Shut, a secretive, decadent cabal that preaches virtue and self-reliance, but practices vice and opportunistic, back-scratching greed. Hammer home that this is not an isolated incident, but rather part of a whole narrative of divorce, adultery, corporate malfeasance, class warfare, lies, dirty tricks, fraud, torture, and murder.

Also, when referring to this scandal, we need to keep the emphasis on "prostitute" rather than "gay". Prostitution is sleazy and illegal, homosexuality is not. And those who do think gayness is evil will not need any reminders, nor do those who cynically use this opportunity to accuse us of homophobia need any help.

We had it all wrong.

Ah, it's all becoming clear to me now. "Bulldog" Gannon is not really a gay prostitute, just a very very shrewd domain name speculator, willing to go that extra mile (or 8 inches) to really pump up his properties' market value.

He is the living embodiment of the American dream. Let us all take a moment to admire his spunk.

Monday, February 21, 2005


I just finished taping Ju-On: The Grudge (the second Japanese original - the cinematic one, not the crappy made-for-TV one) for some friends at work. I couldn't even bear to watch it again (I would peek in on it with the sound off, and then have to turn away from the horribleness almost immediately). I know of at least two people who consider it the scariest movie they have ever seen.

I'm not sure I would go quite that far, but it is easily the most relentlessly intense and malevolent movie I have ever seen. Most horror movies have clearly defined respites where the protagonists can regroup a little bit and try to figure out what's going on, someplace where you feel reasonably secure that nothing terrible will happen. This movie does not. The evil can strike any place, at any time, and usually in a way that is very creepy and bad and wrong. And all you have to do to bring it on yourself is to visit the Evil Cursed House, or (IIRC) even come in contact with someone who has.

I recommend that everyone who likes to be scared see it exactly once - don't worry too much about the subtitles if you don't like that kind of thing, it's not that heavy on dialogue.

If you can watch it more than once, I applaud you. Seek professional help.

Another Domino...

Once again, the United States is playing catch-up with History:
Same-sex partners in Britain will be able to enter into civil unions from December, joining gays in parts of Europe and the United States [very small parts of the U.S.] in obtaining many of the rights enjoyed by married people, the government said Monday.
How is it that our country, which is supposedly such an enlightened role model for the free world, always seems to be so far behind the curve on slavery, capital punishment (including death for the underage and mentally ill), torture, global warming, and now gay marriage?

Are the Europeans and Canadians really that decadent, or are we just mean-spirited, selfish, and backward? I think back to last November, when an "overwhelming majority" of 51% endorsed all of these things and more, and I have my answer.

At best, we have become the Two-Face of nations, and the ugly side is gaining. Anyone know a really good plastic surgeon?

Update: rorschach has tipped me off that Not-Princess Camilla "is not welcome at the White House because she is a divorcee. The reports do no[t] mention that Charles is also a divorcee." Yes, I'm sure that if we were to scour the records of White House visits since 2001, we would not uncover a single example of a female divorcee ever being a guest there, not a one (apparently male divorcees are okay, though - hmm).

The reason I append this to this particular post is that I wonder whether this is really about Camilla being a divorcee (damn uppity women always trying to improve their station in life!), or whether this is just another example of Bush's penchant for petty spite, sending a message to our erstwhile best buddies in the UK (and to his American fundie friends as well) that we don't cotton to no civil unions for the gayfolk nohow. The fact that Charles and Camilla are getting hitched in a "civil ceremony" only serves to heighten the symbolism.

RIP, Hunter S.

May your afterlife be an eternity of good trips. May you keep writing, and find some way to publish from beyond. If you have to possess someone, that's cool. We won't tell anybody.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Strange Agenda

So, as Eschaton is besieged with right-wing trolls accusing us intolerant, homophobic liberals of being on a gay witch hunt, I and others were touched and surprised by this sudden outpouring of solicititude for the gay cause. NTodd even went so far as to suggest that this wave of right-wing pro-gay feeling might make this the perfect time to push for blanket legalization of gay marriage.

I think this is a fine idea. After all, if gays are worthy of preferential treatment with regard to White House/presidential access, then surely they are worthy of at least equal treatment with regard to the right to marry?

But then I wondered still further: What if these trolls are more attuned to the "gay agenda" than we are? What if the Number One priority of the American gay rights movement is, in fact, the right to ask softball questions of homophobic Republican presidents? Who are we to stand in the way of their hopes and dreams? With a prize like that in sight, surely marriage can wait?

Alas, it now appears that bright and shining dream has been dashed, destroyed by gay traitors like the dastardly John Aravosis of AMERICAblog. The trolls are waging a valiant battle to revive it, with their defibrillators of insincerity and their giant adrenaline needles of namestealing, but the time has come to place a gentle hand on their shoulder and pull them back from the tragic, bloody corpse. It was too much, too soon. America is simply not ready.

But hopefully, maybe, in some small way, this noble failure will pave the way for smaller advances in gay rights, such as the right to marry, the right to be accepted for who they are, and the right to not get the shit kicked out of them for no reason at all. I hope that someday our gay brethren will be able to forgive us for our callous and sordid role in this sorry affair, and we heterosexuals will once again be able to walk around with our heads held high.

Friday, February 18, 2005

At long last!

I have a blog of my very own!

Someday, I hope to build on it!