Archive for March, 2012

Fuck the Kraken
March 26, 2012

Release the Bartlet!

Random Useful Item of the Day
March 23, 2012

Mad Men refresher for Sunday night’s premiere.

No snark here; it’s useful and I can’t be the only one who needed it.

Turn out the lights, the party’s over
March 22, 2012

I held out as long as I could, I really did. The entertainment factor was off the charts, a reality so upside down as to nullify all attempts at parody. Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign was a traveling circus worthy of the combined efforts of PT Barnum and Grand Moff Tarkin, but no circus can last forever, and it is sadly time for this one to fold up the tent for the last time.

Newt, bud, you need to get out. You were my favorite character, but unless you leave, the show is gonna air its finale much sooner rather than later. You want Mittens to win Republican Idol? Cuz that’s what’s gonna happen if you keep siphoning off 10%+ of the vote from grown-up gay(er) Tim Tebow!

Look, we all need to make sacrifices sometimes. You don’t get to be president, I don’t get to be right about everything. That’s just how shit goes. You are already a large man – now you need to be a big man. Get out of this race.

You won’t want for things to do, I promise. There are countless southern colleges, black holes along the Bible Belt for you to visit, where you can advocate for small children’s working rights and cry about how you coulda been a contender if only the rest of the country had the cranial capacity to fully understand your Churchillian genius.

Remember: your crown and glories they may depose, but not your griefs; still you are king of those.

(Newt loves applying laughably inappropriate high-minded references to himself, so maybe that will convince him.)

The one time both sides are actually right
March 17, 2012

Supreme Court hearings should be televised. There’s absolutely no good reason not to. What, are they afraid people are gonna laugh at Clarence Thomas sleeping?

Trust me, we already do.

No, this isn’t “amazing”
March 6, 2012

It’s mildly amusing, and indicative of everything that’s been wrong with The Simpsons for over a decade: lazy, base, narrow-skewing, and utterly undeserving of anything beyond a short chuckle. Oh, and it’s also about nine months late to the party, but hey, that’s actually an improvement.

It’s not as face-smashingly bad as this, but it’s another sad reminder of just how far this show has fallen, and just how far some silly people will go to convince themselves it hasn’t.

Ralph McQuarrie is dead
March 5, 2012

There’s no doubt in our hearts that, centuries from now, amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say…

“That looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted.”

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t into movies, but I can remember when, as a kid, I first became fascinated with what went into making them: it was when I saw Star Wars, and my first reaction as the credits rolled was Wow. How did they do that?!

So I looked into it. I found out that some guy named George Lucas came up with the story and characters I enjoyed so much. Someone named John Williams wrote the music I couldn’t stop humming. A dude named Ben Burtt recorded the sound effects I’d try to vocally extemporize as I swung my toy lightsaber. And, as important to it all as any of them, an old man named Ralph McQuarrie made everything look the way it did.

I’m a big fan of giving credit where it’s due in general, but especially in cases where someone who’s had a great impact has, for whatever reason, gone largely unrecognized. This is the almost inexorable fate of conceptual artists, whose contributions, though they may be staggeringly important to films of great renown, cannot save their creators from anonymity. Well, for the millions of people who’ve been entertained over the years by Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, whether they know it or not, Ralph McQuarrie was more than relevant – he was a fucking star:

He single-handedly designed the look of my favorite series of movies. He made me want to dig beneath the surface of film and understand what went into it as an art form. He set my imagination aflame, and for that, to me, he was a giant.

Too bad Andrew Breitbart couldn’t have just died twice, instead.

Oh look, it’s the 1950s
March 3, 2012

Hot on the heels of reviving the “controversy” over contraception, the Grand Old (lolz) Party has now resurrected the issue of school prayer.

Yup, Florida just took it upon themselves to say “Eh, fuck it” and pass a law that you, um, can’t pass. That’s so cool! Maybe next Alabama can bring back public flogging, and Georgia can prohibit interracial marriage. Fuck the system!

For some actual serious commentary on the issue, take it away West Wing:

“I’ll tell you why it should be front and center. It’s not the First Amendment, it’s not religious freedom, it’s not church and state; it’s not abstract. It’s the fourth grader who gets his ass kicked at recess because he sat out the voluntary prayer in homeroom. It’s another way of making kids different from other kids, and they’re required by law to be there. That’s why you want it front and center: the fourth grader. That’s the prize.”

Compassion and eloquence; oh, Aaron Sorkin, how stupidly quaint you are. Enjoy it while you can. Soon enough President Santorum will be in charge, he’ll name David Mamet Secretary of Entertainment for Real Americans, and we’ll once again be able to force our sisters to carry our kids to term in peace.

Random Excellent Item of the Day
March 1, 2012

You either get it or you don’t.