Archive for March, 2011

Worst Person in the W-… wait, what?
March 25, 2011

“This is not a complicated issue. If America is, indeed, a noble country, it should act to save lives when it can. That doesn’t mean we get bogged down in quagmires like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam again, but when quick, decisive action can defeat evil, it should be taken.

I believe in the basic nobility of America. I also believe few other nations have the motivation and power to confront evil as this country does. If it’s only all about us, if all we think about is our own sacrifice, then American exceptionalism disappears.

We did the right thing in Libya.”

Bill O’Reilly

Yes, that Bill O’Reilly. Yes, he’s right. Yes, the world just stopped spinning.

Assuming the Libyan action is indeed “quick and decisive” (and it’s a big assumption, but as of now it’s the plan) it’s the right thing to do. A reflexive, all-encompassing policy of nonintervention after the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles, while understandable, is in the same vein of stubborn, immaleable, one-size-fits-all thinking that got us into those messes in the first place.

Calculated, cooperative air strikes can be a (relatively) cheap and effective way to level the playing field between a beleaguered rebel force and an oppressive, militant leadership (see: Kosovo, 1999, or: Death Star, a long time again in a galaxy far, far away). And not to make this a political thing, but it’s also a political thing.

Bill Clinton was smart – Kosovo worked.

W. and the whole Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/Cheney gang were not smart – Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t work.

Obama is smart – we’ll see what happens. But if six months from now it’s gotten to the point where we’ve got tens of thousands of troops on the ground and a third unwinnable war on our hands it’s probably because Obama got lynched on a campaign stop in Bumblefuck, Texas, Joe Biden’s heart gave out from the strain of supporting his Texas-sized ego, and John Boehner is President and fucking shit up like… I don’t know, add your own gratuitous Texas swipe here.

Amazon is fucking awesome
March 22, 2011

With the untimely departure of Comrade Marx I like to think of myself as the preeminent anti-Big Business guy out there. Alright, maybe second behind Ralph Nader, but other than him I’m as reflexively against corporations as they come (though I actually have a chance at being president, so I’ve got Ralphie there). I mean, I even hate Google, and nobody hates Google.

But still – Amazon, I love you guys. When I dropped my Kindle and broke it about a year ago, you sent me a new one for free. And then yesterday, when the free one you sent me got scratched, you sent me another new one for free. Wow.

Now if we could just get every other corporation to remedy human error with free shit then we’d really have something. Hell, that might even make up for the decades of societal blood-sucking and environmental ass-rapage they’ve been committing.

Maybe.

Partially.

Not really.

“I pity the fool-hoo who gets doctrine from you”
March 16, 2011

Why yes, there is a Christian rock cover of Cee-Lo Green’s noxious “Fuck You.”

What’s that? You didn’t ask for one? That’s okay – nobody else did either!

Don’t give me that old-time religion
March 7, 2011

It’s not good enough for me.

So this kid on a college basketball team fucked his girlfriend and got suspended for the rest of the season. There are two schools of thought on this: the people who say “He knew the rules, he broke them, he suffers the consequences. End of story,” and the people who say “Yeah, he broke the rules, but the rules are fucking stupid to begin with. Who cares?”

Guess which school I attend.

The player’s name is Brandon Davies, he plays basketball at BYU, and this whole thing is utterly insane. By ‘whole thing’ I mean the story, yes, but more importantly I mean BYU itself, the school run by the LDS (Mormon) church that prohibits via “honor code” sex outside of marriage as well as drug and alcohol consumption of any kind.

Also: no drinking tea. Also: no, I’m not making that up. Also: even well-known Jesus freak Tim fucking Tebow thinks the kid shouldn’t have gotten suspended.

The scolds are out in full force, armed with nauseatingly pious admonishments to those who’d dare take the “um, this is stupid” line of argument. Yes, the school’s rules are well known to all its students. Yes, they were well within their limits to suspend the kid from the team. Yes, the kid shouldn’t have gone to this school unless he was prepared to follow the rules.

None of this addresses the bottom line: the rules (at least the one prohibiting premarital sex) are archaic, draconian, and altogether utterly fucking stupid.

We’re hardwired to want to have sex. We’re genetically predisposed as a species to want to fuck, which is why it’s so damn enjoyable – so we’ll want to do it more. Safe, consensual sex of the kind that took place here is both enjoyable and beneficial to the practitioners; to those outside its sphere of influence (everyone else) it neither picks their pocket nor breaks their leg.

The above is incontestable in its entirety. So why, then, are so many not only fine with a school prohibiting it, but actually celebrating their ignorance and obstinacy?

The magic word: religion. The catch-all blanket excuse for every leftover vestige from a time when (more than today, anyway) the baseless, unshakable certainty of faith lorded over reason, practicality, curiosity and humanity.

This from BYU’s athletic director:

“Everybody who comes to BYU, every student if they’re an athlete or not an athlete, they make a commitment when they come. A lot of people try to judge if this is right or wrong. It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about commitment.”

No, you zombified hack, it is about right and wrong. It’s always about right and wrong. And you and your kind will always, always, always be wrong, whether you think your “honor code” comes from Yaweh or Zeus or Thor or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or, in your case, the most ridiculous one of all, Joe fucking Smith.

The real story here is that a 19 year old kid has been so indoctrinated with this sad, stifling, individuality-crushing bullshit that he felt so much guilt over his “transgression” that he turned himself in.

Think about that for a moment: he “turned himself in.” Think about what springs to mind when you hear that someone “turned themselves in” for a sexual offense. Then think of what happened here, what “sexual offense” this kid “turned himself in” for.

Something is very, very wrong here.

This is just plain awesome
March 6, 2011

and so I’m posting it:

Worst Person in the World
March 3, 2011

Yesterday the US Supreme Court ruled (quite correctly) 8-1 on First Amendment grounds in favor of the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to preach their “God hates fags” doctrine in public.

Sarah Palin, as she so often does, had something to tweet about this:

“Common sense & decency absent as wacko ‘church’ allowed hate msgs spewed@ soldiers’ funerals but we can’t invoke God’s name in public square”.

Lets set aside that the “hate msgs” were not in fact spewed at a funeral, but 1,000 feet away from the funeral in question, and go over the sequence of events here:

1. Supreme Court: “It’s okay to say ‘God hates fags’ in public.”

2. Sarah Palin: “but we can’t invoke God’s name in public square”

One more time, just to make sure I got it right:

1. Supreme Court: “It’s okay to say ‘God hates fags’ in public.”

2. Sarah Palin: “but we can’t invoke God’s name in public square”

Sarah Palin, whose rank imbecility is as vast as space and timeless as infinity, today’s Worst Person in the World.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2011

The following represents the last best hope for the Oscars if they wish to stop being a crushing bore and start being fun again. Several (all?) of these suggestions are fairly obvious and were put forth years ago, when the top gays and women in the field of oscarology first recognized the signs signaling the onset of thisshowfuckingblowsitis, but perhaps hearing them from such an unimpeachable source as myself will hasten their implementation:

1) Get a comic to host. GET A COMIC TO HOST. The Oscars at their core are thousands of privileged celebrities and artists getting together to jerk themselves off; the importance of a talented comic to inject some self-deprecation into the proceedings cannot be overstated. Aaron Sorkin’s ego, Randy Newman’s gibberish, The King’s Speech‘s stereotypical Oscar-ness, Christian Bale’s bitchiness – all of these were winners who had easily mockable faults to exploit – none were. You need a comic who can write his own material and who’s able to ad-lib a barb or two or twenty throughout the show.

2) Relegate a few of the, for lack of a better descriptor, irrelevant categories to the untelevised tech show they hold several days in advance. Not to insult the people who make Animated, Live Action and Documentary Shorts, but this is a show. You put on a show for an audience, and I don’t think it’s hyperbole on my part when I say that nobody has watched these shorts, in the theater or at home, except for the people who are nominated in those categories. These three categories add nothing but run time; dump them.

3) Have some categories illustrated for the audience, preferably by some of the nominees. Show the sound mixers on the foley stage using objects you’d never imagine to create the sound effects they do. Show how the FX work in that scene from Inception where Leo and Ellen Page are having one of their many unlistenable conversations and all of a sudden shit starts exploding as they sit stoically in place. There’s a lot of tech awards – make people see why they’re actually relevant.

4) You have all the best actors from all the best movies of the year in one room… and the best you can do is show clips from those films? Get them to get on stage and have them fucking act! Get Tim Allen in a Buzz Lightyear costume tied down to a chair, being interrogated by someone in a giant Lotso Huggin’ Bear suit. Get Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush up there and have them argue with each other about speech. Get Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake up there and have them… argue with each other about Facebook. Leave the clips to YouTube plz.

5) Remember when the Best Song performances didn’t make you want to off yourself? I do. Now part of this problem is that when there were multiple brilliant Disney songs being nominated every year you’d get stuff like this, songs like “Be Our Guest” that naturally lend themselves to the kind of elaborate Broadway musical numbers that bring the house down. That period is dead, and by and large so are big musical numbers in films (not to mention Jerry Orbach). But still, you’ve gotta come up with something more than two people just standing there and singing at each other. How this fine scene from Tangled becomes this rote, joyless scene on stage is beyond me. What, it’d be that hard to have the actors in costume sitting in a mechanized boat as it glides over the floor? As an accomplished stage choreographer myself I can say with the utmost credibility that this can only be due to laziness on the part of my peers. Get on the ball, guys!

6) More Mickey Mouse and Tom Selleck collaborations.