Monday, December 26, 2011


I did want to add that I agree with Jim's point here that Ron Paul is pretty much screwed by his newsletters (well, by that and by being a crank. Actually, wasn't "having a newsletter" a prerequisite for crankdom back in the day?) Admitting that Lew Rockwell wrote them makes all of Rockwell's stuff fair game and--oh boy--there's quite a bit of that out there. His "ignore it even though it won't go away" is all he has...unless he wants to, you know, change the game and actually attempt to move past the issue. But he won't risk losing the position he has--leader of a political cult that isn't even at Perot levels of popularity--so he's going to stay right where he belongs, in the minor leagues of career eccentric congressmen.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

YEEEEARRRGH APPLE HATES WOMEN: Remember that one time Amazon searches hated gay people? This is another version of that. Especially when you consider the thoughtless, unreflecting dudeity of Silicon Valley.

Me, I think it's another useless gimmick for the Apple cultists to use to reassure themselves that the objects of their veneration are still holy and righteous without their chief shaman around to bless them anymore. And I've decided talking to the Majel Barrett computer from Next Generation does not make me feel like I'm living in the future to anything like the degree those curly-Q, allegedly-loaded-with-mercury light bulbs do.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

THE BEST FAKE AMAZON REVIEWS: Are the ones you're not expecting:

I'm a clown who likes a 10-12 oz. nip at the spirits every now and again, before each performance, or when I'm alone. I can say that this flask is perfect for me. My other flasks were always getting lost in my comically oversized pants pockets amidst the confetti, balloon animals, and ropes of colored handkerchiefs. It was nearly impossible for me to quickly find and swig from these puny things, not to mention they did almost nothing to satiate my thirst for liquid comedy. I tried just using the bottles my zany sauce was originally packaged in, but quickly found I needed something more discreet when performing before uptight prudish children and the priggish parents who love to scream and yell about their morals. Not to mention glass is breakable. That doesn't combine well with my specialty trick, constant pratfalls and collapsing in heaps. Then I found this 64 oz. paragon of discretion, and my hollow void now has one shining object. I've incorporated my frequent swigs into the act, and the stupid kids are none the wiser. I mean, it's opaque. They don't know what's in there, and I keep getting funnier until I somehow wake up in the park. 

This is for a 64 oz. giant flask. I mean, okay, maybe I should expect gag reviews for gag items, but I was SERIOUSLY thinking "wow, think of all the booze you could carry with you!" and I swear I'm not a drunk I JUST NEED TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF and then BAM, the gag review, reminding me that one really shouldn't tote around 64 ounces of bourbon (enough for 32 smallish Manhattans) with them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE JUST BEGINNING: Apparently Coach K set some of wins record tonight. But I bet at least 245 of those wins were due to refs giving his floor-slapping Coach K white boy-Mini-Me's credit for charges while they were clearly moving their feet but K had spent the previous half screaming at them (the refs, I mean) so they gave in.

Just the most unattractive style of basketball I can think of, three pointers, ref-baiting and floor-slapping. I do not celebrate an achievement based on such dreck; I condemn it; I fart in its general direction.

EDIT: I regret being such a churlish hater. Thanks for getting us that gold medal, though, Coach K. That was the time I did cheer you on.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

AS GOOD AN EXPLANATION FOR THE FRIENDLY'S BANKRUPTCY AS ANY: From out of the mouths of Yelp reviewers:

How does this chain still exist?  So fried, so greasy, nothing healthy on the menu and limited options.   You are better off swimming in butter and stapling donuts to your ass.

And yet, how is Five Guys a hot chain? They don't even have a turkey option, let alone a veggie patty option, and Friendly's does. Cracker Barrel isn't a hot chain anymore, but they're enduring, and they're not healthy either. But Cracker Barrel does kitsch and Five Guys does great burgers...Friendly's doesn't do any one thing particularly well, except possibly the Fribble, and that isn't enough anymore. (I admit to being partial to at least the idea of Friendly's breakfast, if not always the results.) The Friendly's menu is a wilderness of things that were unambiguously delicious decades ago, and there's too many other options now to make them viable at their current size, which is bigger than it should be relative to, like, Bob Evans or Perkins, is my guess. (EDIT: Wikipedia tells me Perkins has gone bankrupt as well.) basically I like that line from the review about stapling donuts. Good job, Yelper David C.!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Via: The Internet.

Monday, November 07, 2011

"A DEEPLY SELFISH, HALF-CRAZY OLD MAN": Paul Campos on Joe Paterno and the Sandusky scandal. Probably the best blog take (as opposed to the pro media, who may also have blogs) I've seen on this.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


(Finally read A Fire Upon the Deep, was doing some googling. Surprised there isn't a larger Zones of Thought fanbase...though there would at least be a wiki out there or a message board or something. It's a well-constructed fictional world that you could easily map in your nerdy way, after all.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

HAPPY DAY AFTER NYPD HATS DAY: Those hats go back in the closet and we remember the NYPD is a fairly awful institution again. Those hats, though, man--totally symbolic of all the office workers who lost their lives, many of whom--I'VE HEARD--were NOT EVEN AMERICANS.

(I complain, but those hats might be the only thing reminding people this is not yet another occasion to SUPPORT THE TROOPS/justify our various excursions and incursions worldwide. Without the hats the memorials are nothing but another set of American flags and then 9/11 becomes Successfully Conflate The Iraq War With Terrorist Attacks Day, otherwise known as Cheney Day.)

(This is as good a place as any to note a local firm is opening a new suit against Saudi Arabia for, you know, causing 9/11.)

(EDIT: Oh, and another great way to celebrate NYPD Hats Day is by racial profiling. "And NYPD Hats Day started off as an excuse to beat up the brown!" "'Tis true, and we took many a lump!" ALL IN GOOD FUN, AMERICA.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WHAT WE'RE READING THIS VERY SECOND: Discussion about that Morrison interview where he calls out Millar, Moore and Ware. I'm more sympathetic to Morrison than any of the other three, at least creatively--Moore and Ware are more of a mixed bag than the straight awesome they're usually credited with, and Millar is Millar in the sense that Brett Ratner is Brett Ratner. Morrison isn't perfect either, but I do think he's less cynical than the other three. He also has a more vocal set of detractors than Ware and Moore, I feel like, which isn't particularly fail. (Millar's detractors are everywhere, and this is A Good Thing.)

Al Jazeera's Libya live blog.

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry's "Hey Ron Paul Fans: Hope You Know That If America Stopped Being The World's Policeman, America's Economy Would Collapse." In which our position as "benign, global military hegemon" is responsible for our economy remaining, umm, powerful (I wanted to say "awesome" but that probably isn't feasible.) An interesting argument at least.

Monday, August 01, 2011

FIRST HIGH SPEED RAIL DOLLARS: And now Rick Scott turns down health care dollars. (Via.) TEAMENTUM~! These guys can't possibly think they're doing the will of the electorate, right? I mean Scott is staggeringly unpopular.

By the way, though he was a guy elected as part of the anti-Democrat backlash Chris Christie is not a fan of the taste of Tea. Tea people don't call bigots "crazies." They ignore bigotry since economics supersedes color lines mumble mumble and liberals are the REAL RACISTS, amirite?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

DEPARTMENT OF GOOD, VALID ADVICE FOR A FAIRLY LIMITED AUDIENCE: This piece has been floating around my circles:

If you go to Harvard and then you live in New York, no matter what you do, the fact remains that you will have old college friends who are in the top positions in whatever field of endeavor you’re concerned with. If you’re twenty-five, you’ll know people who are getting their first pieces published in The New Yorker. If you’re forty, you’ll know people who are editors of The New Yorker. You will know people who are affiliated with every level of government. And across the board, just everywhere, you will know some people at the top of everything.
But in Canada, if you went to Harvard, it’s just a weird novelty, a strange fact about you, like that you’re a member of Mensa or you have an extra thumb. There’s no Harvard community here. There are equivalent upper-class communities to some degree, like maybe people who went to Upper Canada College prep school, but it’s not even remotely the same thing. I mean, partly there just aren’t the same heights to aspire to. There’s no equivalent to being the editor of The New Yorker in Canada, or being an American movie producer or anything like that. Partly, the advantages of class aren’t as unevenly distributed in general.
So while going to Harvard constitutes an invitation to join the American upper class, this invitation is pretty useless if you’re living in Canada. I often think about how I was given this invitation—this tremendously valuable thing—and I just kind of threw it away. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

So: if you're a Canadian, and you want to join the American upper class via your Harvard pedigree--don't live in Canada! Good advice for, ummm, two dozen people.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NOT THAT I AGREE WITH ALL OF THIS: But the idea that Hope Solo's falling out with Greg Ryan back at the last World Cup was a big, watershed moment for American women's soccer a la Chastain's sports bra is an interesting one. I'm also struck by this quote from Solo herself:

"We needed some change (in 2007)," Solo said Saturday in a phone interview from Niketown in New York City. "People like to keep everything so positive -- like we're the girls next door. We like to do everything together, and all that. Why are we sugarcoating? Just because we're teammates doesn't mean we're all best friends. But that's how women's sport have been portrayed. We're not your girls next door. We have opinions, we have arguments."

Because the Hamm-dominated teams were portrayed that way, neatly packaged by Nike as safe for consumption by little girls. And post-Solo the national teams aren't that way anymore, they're edgier, meaner. Definitely more personality-laden. (Remember how great a vector Hamm was for endorsements? Solo talks too much to be much use for that--and it is of course sexist that she can't sell products but, like, Charles Barkley can, who is also a talker/sayer of incorrect things.) And I remember thinking back then, "Wow, we're having a major media dustup involving female athletes complaining about playing time! JUST LIKE THE DUDES!"

Where that post above goes wrong, I think, is when it claims Solo was vilified because she's a woman. I mean, 1. she wasn't universally vilified; I remember there being legit debate over what she said, and of course in hindsight she was right, she should have been there instead of Scurry; and 2. just look at LeBron. All he did is switch teams and have a tv special about it and he's American sports worse than Hitler. Americans are perfectly willing to vilify anyone whose lifestyles we fund via ticket prices and shoe sales, because we PAY THEIR SALARIES GOLDERNIT and we have that right. And I would say even accounting for their relative size of their fames LeBron is getting it much worse than Solo.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LUCKILY I WAS ALREADY BOYCOTTING THE HUFFINGTON POST: Because it's unreadable and--you know--Arianna Huffington. But if you need to support the actual union-organized boycott, here's why you should. Good discussion in the comments too.

(Radley Balko never followed through on his threat/promise to take down his personal website, so there's still nothing forcing me to go there. And I get that there's no one forcing people to give their effort to Arianna for free, but no one's forcing Arianna to be all SOCIAL JUSTICE! all the time either so it's fair to call her on it. And as Erik Loomis pointed out, it is a way to at least get the bright serious youngsters of the "progressivesphere" (or as Moe Tkacik has termed it, the consensusphere) to at least talk about labor issues sometimes, even if they would never think of themselves as being laborers.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

BEHOLD! I AM BECOME GEOFF JOHNS, DESTROYER OF WORLDS: Love Sean Witzke's take on Flashpoint and Geoff Johns. A snippet:

So here we are at 2011, which is a fallow period for every edge of comics concerned...[...]...the now-even-more-corporate DC comics decided that they need to make a move, and they decided that Geoff Johns had the right idea – and streamline everything. But instead of just doing what Johns does, which is essentially write his way out of a corner, they’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater and chucking the entire universe. Worse yet – they’ve hired Johns himself to perform the act of destroying the universe he loves so dearly. I believe that he took the job knowing that if he didn’t take it, someone else would. Someone who probably wasn’t going to apply the care he would (whether you or I agree with this, the simple fact is that Johns loves DC comics in a way few do). So Johns took the job, and decided that it was best to tell the story in an alternate world apart from the DCU he loves.
 Man, I actually wasn't that convinced that this would really be the last time we'll see the old DCU, but Sean's logic (that streamlining Green Lantern worked, so Warner thinks to itself, in its simplistic corporate hivemind fashion, that streamlining the whole shebang will work even better) is sound, and it's not like DC hasn't pitched previous versions of its multiverse before, never to be seen again (even post-52 we didn't really get the old Earth-2, Earth-X, Earth-S multiverse back, just something that sort of resembled it but without its vitality.)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

THIS IS NEWTINY, MR CHRISTIAN, NEWTINY: Newt's latest presidential campaign was always going to be a clown show, with not even Bachmann levels of support from the rank and file and limited media interest (he's just not offensively dumb enough to get noticed.) Still it's amusing to see the wheels leave en masse off his clowncar this early in the proceedings.

Monday, May 16, 2011

DEPARTMENT OF ENTERTAINING THREADS ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS: The LGM thread on DSK--well I laughed. It starts with people thinking Dan Rather is being invoked and just goes up from there.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

DEPARTMENT OF SEWER MANAGEMENT: Did MattY finally dump his comments section? It was one of the blogosphere's more legendary sewers, probably because Matt rarely descended into them.

Monday, May 02, 2011

AS IF MILLIONS OF WARBLOGGERS SUDDENLY CRIED OUT IN RAPTURE, AND WERE DEFINITELY NOT SILENCED: Yeah, I mean, the modern political blogosphere has its origins in what OBL did, and now that he's dead, does it just go away? Course not! It's too much fun for all concerned. Much like the wars that were started in his name, the former warblogosphere will just keep churning along. One wonders what it would look like now, without a 9/11 to give Instapundit a whole lot of eyeballs right in the beginning. More corporate? Just as annoying but in a different way? Well, who can say. But you go to war with the blogosphere you have, as they say. So so long, OBL, and thanks for all the blogs.

My own personal reaction was something like faint bewilderment at the fact that people were celebrating this. I mean, I tried to recall my immediate post-9/11 "man, would I love to throw Osama off a skyscraper" anger but it was mostly gone. Guess a lot of people were not over it. Or else it was one of those spontaneous things where people happen to be out and the news starts to spread across people's phones and one's natural joy when something bad happens to a bad person gets amplified. I don't begrudge those college kids dancing in front of the White House one bit, they were quite young when 9/11 happened, they've known Osama as our number one boogeyman for most of their self-aware lives. Sure, it's bad form to celebrate anyone's death, but come on. Any New Yorker who wants to celebrate this, go crazy. Ignore the holier-than-thous in the audience. Yeah, the scold society was producing my least favorite reactions last night (not that they don't have a point, but last night I just didn't care to hear about it.)

Of course this is only important if it changes something other than Obama's reelection chances (and I was LOLing at him last night totally owning the operation that killed OBL. "Killing Osama? Yeah, that was my idea. And of course he did it on the 8 year anniversary of MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. He didn't even run against Dubya and he still found a way to posterize him.) Do I still have to take off my shoes at the airport? Are my choices still a groping or the porno scanner? (I'm still on Team Grope. At least then the embarrassment is potentially mutual.) Are we still bombing Afghan weddings? (Are we? Feel like it's been awhile since the last atrocity.) If we're still afraid at home and killing abroad this doesn't mean too much. And I'm still saving up for Amtrak tickets since the flying experience is so awful (they're pricey, but it's either rent a room and pay or do it cheap and sit in a chair for two straight days. I prefer to travel in both style and comfort when I do.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

DEPT. OF DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT LINES OF THE BLOGWARS: John Cole's war on Sully remains hugely entertaining.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

MORE RECYCLED SUCKER PUNCH CONTENT: In my spare time I post on message boards:

It took me two viewings but I think I loved this movie. My favorite thing since Scott Pilgrim--obviously I love a good action fantasy. But I loved Pilgrim right away; Punch took some time to digest. Pilgrim, I think, was made for me and other receptive fellow nerds in a celebratory way, but Punch is self-reflective--it wants you to doubt your nerdery to some degree. How successful it is at that is obviously a YMMV situation, which explains the really divergent critical reactions. But my point here is that the movie with the girl in the sailor suit with the gun and the sword might be less of a pander than Scott Pilgrim.
Anyway--at the very least it's a really great live action Heavy Metal with a way better vignette-linking setup than that stupid locknar, right? Obviously intermingled with that Snyder's trying to do other things--perspective on his own obsessions, questions about the nerdy male gaze, the limits of fantasy and much of an "escape" the geek fantasy genres really provide, how empowering the action heroine really is (young geek girl reactions seem to view this film favorably, which I don't think Snyder would be opposed to--I don't think he's saying the female action/fantasy heroine is always a male prisoner...just that she is a lot of the time. Similarly--I don't think he's saying we're supposed to hate the action fantasies because Blue is loathsome--he just wants us to think about it), etc. I mean it doesn't hurt for ambition. And as Depton mentioned upthread--it's got heart. I'm really glad it exists and I wish it wasn't getting a fairly thoughtless critical pileon.
Now I think Snyder was going for his version of, like, a seriocomic tone? Not quite out-and-out camp--though that lounge cover of Love Is The Drug that we see bits of in the credits is blatant, joyful camp--but cool camp, detached camp. Which may be more obvious when we get the full version with the dance sequences...I think it would have been totally obvious with his original Ooh Child ending which will probably never get to see since this movie might make back its stated budget, but not more than that. (He said in that Film School Rejects interview he'd finish the original ending if Punch did well, and I don't think its done well enough for that.) But there's enough fun here, just with what we have. That scene with the Mayor rolling up with those glasses and that Queen/hip-hop mashup in the background is ridiculous, in a great way. And, um, Amber's plane! One wing has a propeller, one side is a jet! Vanessa frigging Hudgens firing a machine gun and screaming "TAKE THAT YOU UGLY MOTHERFUCKER!!!" With the -FUCKER cut off. (The PG-13ization of this movie also hurt it a lot, obviously.)
Specific things that annoyed me are Blondie's out-of-nowhere breakdown, and her and Amber's similarly out-of-nowhere deaths, and possibly those two characters in general, which I guess you can partially blame on the actresses (Amber's repeated "WHOA!"'s got on my nerves, but Snyder doesn't have to put them in there either) but they also aren't given nearly as much to do as Cornish and Malone. The breakdown seems to be purely for plot purposes--there's nothing before that to suggest Blondie is the weak link--and the deaths are of the "kill characters to make the bad guy look worse" type, which is always cheap (for me.) I get that he wanted some menace in the fantasies, but yeesh, two executions at once? And of two characters who are paired but I'm never sure why they're a pair, other than "they're the two that aren't sisters." In one of the interviews he mentions the brothel on-screen is less menacing than it's supposed to be (and I don't want to sound like I'm reflexively buying all his excuses for the current state of the film) so maybe before it looked less abrupt. Whatevs! I had a great time. Really curious now about the fuller version we'll get on disc. Right now the credits are teasing us with, like, glimpses of alternate versions of the characters (except Baby? I never notice her in the stage scenes--maybe her "stage" is always the high fantasy scenes) so we'll see how it all feels with those scenes fully integrated into the film.
One random, probably silly thought: the bookishly, scientist-like nerdy Snyder (as opposed to a fast-talking dorky nerd) is our De Palma in waiting. (Ummm, the De Palma who grew up with anime and Heavy Metal instead of Hitchcock. And with a less gutty sexuality. There's sex in a Snyder film but it's 90% mental. Lookm it's a silly thought. But--wait for it...) And Sucker Punch is his Phantom of the Paradise. (BOOYAH.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SAINTS PRESERVE ME, I AM STILL THINKING ABOUT SUCKER PUNCH: Thoughts from a second viewing, crossposted from my Tumblr:

Thoughts on a second viewing of Sucker Punch: I think it’s fundamentally about the limits of fantasy. It’s Snyder saying, all those old Heavy Metals and girl action movies and comics and games you loved when you were younger—it’s all right to love them! They’re awesome! But know that there are limits to how far escape can take you. And the root of them is a very male need to control things. I look at the brothel level as “Baby Doll’s” (whoever the lead character was, as I very much subscribe to the theory that all five girls were part of the same mind) literalization of Blue’s pervy, fetishy, can-only-get-turned-on-by-subjugating-womeny consciousness. She keeps trying to escape to the high fantasy level but Blue makes sure she stays rooted in his world, even at the expense of parts of her mind (Rockey, Amber, Blondie, and eventually Baby Doll herself.) I think Snyder intended the end to be a true victory of the main character over Blue, where some part of her gets to escape, but at a cost of the rest of her self.
Now how much mileage you get out of that ending is up to you. If any part of Sucker Punch is misogynist, it’s that it’s a story about woman seeking annihilation, who at least in part embraces partial brain death in the end. In the original version apparently the High Roller has a scene with Baby Doll where he tells her if she gives himself to him willingly, he’ll set her free (which explains Hamm’s “almost like she wanted me to do it” dialogue afterwards—again, it’s a shame this movie was cut apart so much.) Never mind equating lobotomization with sexual penetration here—it’s just not the most feminist thing in the world to have a female character seeking loss of self. Of course, she had to sacrifice herself in terms of the narrative so some part of her could survive. And Sweet Pea obviously chooses to live, and they’re both part of the same mind, so…yeah. Maybe it’s only problematic on a surface level. And of course the surface level of Sucker Punch seems to have stymied the great majority of critics.
A lesser thing I was bothered about in my second viewing was (still) the deaths of Amber and Blondie. The first time I was like “jeez—that was brutal, Snyder!” The second time, I think Snyder was trying to interject some real menace into the brothel level and there just isn’t enough leading up to it to justify two cold-blooded executions out of nowhere. I also think maybe Amber and Blondie were just there to get killed later, so there would be some “real” menace in the movie, which is sort of cheap, especially since they had little in the way of characterization previous in the movie. All I can get out of those two is Amber represents safety or something like it—she’s always removed, piloting or in a giant mech, safely away from the ground level action. Blondie is…just the weak link? The main character’s cowardice or impulsivity? Rocket is her confidence, so when she dies, it’s her confidence going. Baby Doll is her sense of self, so I guess Sweet Pea is her strength and, in the end, her reborn self. But yeah, Chung and Hudgens, the Real World refugee and the High School Musical refugee, needed more to do. Maybe they did in the earlier cuts…they’re both prominent in the musical numbers that were cut but reappear in the credits.
Anyway, yeah, this movie is both the live-action Heavy Metal and a meditation on what your relationship to Heavy Metal and Heavy Metal-like things is, should be, should not be. In Snyder’s opinionz.

Wondering if I'm giving Snyder too much credit for actually thinking about this stuff, some of the other Team Sucker Punch people think it's an unintentionally interesting movie. But listening to Snyder's interviews about the movie, he definitely was trying to play with genre expectations.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

THE ORIGINAL ENDING TO SUCKER PUNCH: Sounds better than what we got...or at least less bleak, or maybe more bleak but in a black humor way:

I’m curious, if you don’t mind talking about it, what was the originally shot and intended ending?
The very first ending I wrote the order was: Babydoll was being lobotomized, she got chained in the basement, Sweet Pea escapes – well, let me back up. There’s a scene you’ll see on the Director’s Cut with Jon Hamm. When Jon Hamm arrives as the High Roller – and we took this scene out because of the MPAA – when that guy punches Babydoll in the face, she wakes up in the High Roller’s suite. He basically makes a deal with her that if she gives herself to him, and willingly and not against her will, then he’ll give her freedom and get [her] out of that place. He’ll make it so that Blue will never touch her and she’ll be free. She’s seduced by that concept, and right when they go to kiss each other, that’s her being lobotomized. When they kiss, it’s her being lobotomized.
The very end of the movie was: you see Sweet Pea steal a dress from a clothesline, then after she’s lobotomized and Blue says, “Do you remember me? Take her downstairs,” and then you see Sweet Pea getting on the bus, then after her getting on the bus, it cuts back to Babydoll in the basement and that whole scene happens of the cops taking him away. When he shines the flashlight on her, she gets up, and the camera dollies in on her and then goes around her head – and you see that she’s on a stage in the theater and she signs “O-o-h Child” at the very end. After that, all the dead girls come out and they sing together, then the curtain closes. That’s the end.
Why was that cut?
We tested it, and people just did not know how to… I don’t know. I thought it was awesome, personally. Maybe there’s a cult version of it that’ll exist that I can put together sometime [Laughs], but for a mass audience, it just played as this super culty, bizarro ending. I love it, personally. I could tell that people just didn’t know how to take it, though.

I hope we get the original ending on the DVD at least...though I don't think we'll be getting the "cult version" anytime soon:

Would you say the Director’s Cut is that fuller, crazier version?
It’s fuller, but it’s not all the way.
What’s missing to make it ‘all the way’?
It doesn’t have the “O-o-h Child” ending.
Why can’t that be put back in?
It’s just money and everything. The effects were never finished. If the movie is successful, I would absolutely go back and do it for sure.

And Sucker Punch is tanking like Scott Pilgrim (which I loved without much reservation, unlike my more ambivalent feelings for Sucker Punch.) But even unfinished, I'd like to see that first ending. The ending we got is sort of faux-hopeful/genuinely hopeful, though it takes the form of a quasi-"happy" stock ending. Yes, both faux and the movie itself, which moves on false and sincere tracks throughout, sometimes simultaneously. It's strange and sometimes annoying and fairly bleak overall. The fun action scenes are blunted by the overall knowledge that the girls in their guns and planes and superhero/schoolgirl outfits are just as trapped as the girls in the "brothel" (reviewers keep using that word, but it seems to be more of a burlesque house) and as the girls in the asylum. I don't think Snyder's own feelings about his material are at all clear to him, so he adopted this stance of ironic distance from pretty girls in swords and it leads to the film's undoing. I think he needed to get more personal with it, really own his fetishes like Tarantino does (and asking Snyder to be more like Tarantino is probably an unreasonable demand) but he didn't or couldn't and so we're left with this halfway there interesting mess of a movie. Maybe it was more personal early on and the studio process diluted it. Shame it flopped as bad as it did, just because now we're probably never going to get that bizarro cult version.

EDIT: Forgot the link to this interview:

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TSUNAMI RELIEF: If you're looking for a place to donate here's one in Japan: Second Harvest. They're set up to take credit cards with a minimum 1000 JPY donation.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Their preferred future is the ‘Winner-take-all” model.
One guy, in a studio, ‘teaching’ all the geometry classes in the country on a network, and 6500 ‘teachers’, provided by Aramark, making $11.50 an hour taking attendance, and doing discipline, and answering the few questions they can actually answer.
Aramark makes a fortune. The one winner makes a fortune. The kids get screwed, and the ‘teachers’ are grateful for the work.

The "they" in "their" being the usual suspects who hate those no-good teachers unions, suckling at the public teat and all that. And the comment also reminds me that in many ways "efficiency" has made people's lives worse...

Monday, February 14, 2011

ADDENDUM TO PREVIOUS APHORISM: Note that there are countries where writing political fan fiction has, umm, sub-optimal consequences.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

APHORISMS THAT SUDDENLY OCCUR TO ME AND ALSO CAN ONLY BE APPROPRIATELY EXPRESSED IN THIS VENUE: Blogging is political fan fiction. I the first to this one, O Google? YES! (Not googling it without quotes. Can only handle so much disappointment.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

SO YOU SEE, OBAMA JUST NEEDS TO STOP SCARING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY: "From time to time I get to meet people in what you would call the Professional Class. Lately I’ve noticed there’s a common critique of President Obama. Are you ready for it?  It goes something like “He’s alienating business. No wonder employment is suffering if he’s done a terrible job with including the business community.” I wish I could tell you I say something clever in response, or drop a neat factoid or statistics, but normally I am just concentrating on keeping my head from exploding like in that movie Scanners." --Rortybomb. Good thing Barry's listening now, and he replaced Volcker with the CEO of GE. The Professional Class had no one looking out for them!

Also: credit contraction to small businesses the work of the capital-b Banksters, not local, traditional, non-financial system destroying banking.

Monday, January 17, 2011

DEPT. OF BOOKMARKING RECIPES FOR FUTURE USE: Oh I would love a plate of suicidally spicy curry tofu right about now.
DEPT. OF LESS THAN HELPFUL GOOGLE SEARCHES: I thought someone would have tackled in an explicit way the important "hipster vs slacker" question, but no.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DEPT. OF COMMENTS FOUND ON OTHER BLOGS: I'm not the only one who does that! And so this comment was given wider circulation:

The cherry-picked anecdotes of blue-collar, self made executives used to suggest that entry into the ranks of the ultra-rich is somehow “meritocratic”, despite extensive evidence showing that the relationship between heriditary wealth, education, and socioeconomic status is strengthening; the suggestion that these elites somehow “produce wealth”, despite the clear evidence than in fact most of them do little but extract it; the absolutely laughable assertion that attending elite wank-fests like TED talks or Davos conferences somehow constitutes engagement with serious ideas; the absurdity of claiming that the handful of billionaires with significant philanthropic contributions to their pet causes shows us that the ultra-rich are legitimately attempting to better the condition of their inferiors- I’m amazed this trash got past any editor, anywhere.

This in response to that "Rise of the New Global Elite" article that's been passed around. In answer to that last line--it's The Atlantic, scaring the top half of the middle class--in this case with anecdotes about how it isn't working hard enough--is how it stays in business.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

HEY--HAPPY NEW YEAR: Will start updating around here hopefully in the near future. Or at least do a NaNoWriMo postmortem (SPOILERZ: I won!)