Weather trumps soccer again:
I happen to have an old friend who works as a news director at that very TV station- but alas, he happened to be getting married that day.
- Here's my review of "The Hangover Part II" at Patch.
- Here's an E-Gear blog post in which I review Paul Allen's new book.
- Here's my latest Week in Electronics Retail Crime roundup for Dealerscope.
And finally, my son Noah has a new blog post.
Blogging may be light for the next week and a half as we're off to Boston this week and then vacation in Seattle after that. Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone.
Jon Stewart knocks out Newt Gingrich in the first round:
I didn't think it was possible for a complete non-story to get more media attention this year than the birth certificate "controversy" or Donald Trump's faux presidential bid, but some nut's prediction that the "rapture" would take place Saturday was somehow even worse. Can we just ignore the nuts please, and hopefully they'll go away?
So let's see, in the last few weeks Minnesota has adjourned its legislative session without passing a budget or a Vikings stadium bill, but did find the time to put a same-sex marriage ban on the ballot next year- in a state where same-sex marriage is already illegal- and also allow this fiend to deliver an invocation. And that's on top of Michele Bachmann's continuing reign of terror.
But I expect things to get better next November, when Barack Obama wins Minnesota- even if Tim Pawlenty is the Republican nominee- and Minnesota becomes the first state to defeat a same-sex marriage initiative at the polls.
They are, indeed, much more common in real life than on TV.
Jacob Weisberg in Slate:
One party, the Democrats, suffers from the usual range of institutional blind spots, historical foibles, and constituency-driven evasions. The other, the Republicans, has moved to a mental Shangri-La, where unwanted problems (climate change, the need to pay the costs of running the government) can be wished away, prejudice trumps fact (Obama might just be Kenyan-born or a Muslim), expertise is evidence of error, and reality itself comes to be regarded as some kind of elitist plot.
Walter Russell Mead, who continues to be one of the more must-read commentators on foreign policy, especially the Mideast:
Virtually all Arabs, most Europeans and a surprising number of Americans who ought to know better carry a delusional and ultimately anti-Semitic stereotype around in their heads: that American Jews as a bloc are hard line pro-Likud Zionists; that those Jews ruthlessly and relentlessly use their vast and hidden media power to shape US opinion on the Middle East; and that the irresistible financial might of the united Jewish Israel lobby buys Congressional acceptance of their evil designs.
I suppose there is a way that someone could believe all these things and not be a card carrying anti-Semite, but I am not ingenious enough to find it.This is a racist and evil set of beliefs; those who hold them should be ashamed of themselves, and these deserve to be mocked and scorned at every possible opportunity.
David Frum on the current Republican condition:
What Republicans have been producing since January 2009 is a television program, not a political opposition. No rational opposition would have nailed its colors to the mast on the predictably unpopular Ryan budget without the votes to pass it. No rational opposition would have staked everything on defeating Obamacare without the votes to stop it. And no rational opposition would have showcased Michelle Bachmann, Donald Trump, and Newt Gingrich as party leaders. As reckless as these actions were in political terms, they make sense in programming terms. And when the de facto head of your party earns his living as a TV executive – and his most important deputy is a talk-radio host – this is what you get: three years of policy nihilism, three years of repeated self-outmaneuvering on the floor of Congress, and now a presidential campaign that seems intent on identifying the GOP with candidates who repel the voters the GOP most needs to win.
Shawn Ryan's cop show aired its final episode last night, and I'm going to miss it. Even though it was from Shawn Ryan, the creator of "The Shield," the show as pretty clearly trying to do "The Wire" on a network, in a different city with quite a bit less ambition. Still, great use of Chicago locations, excellent acting, and above-average writing too.
News Item: Twins to trade Kevin Slowey
This just doesn't make sense to me. Slowey's a pretty good starting pitcher who's young and pretty inexpensive. The Twins are among the worst teams in baseball. Don't they need more guys like him, as opposed to fewer?
Here's the new movie's ingenious first trailer:
Savage was clearly a giant of one of wrestling's greatest eras, Main Eventing several different Wrestlemanias and participating in some of the WWF's most memorable storylines, including the Megapowers teaming and breakup with Hulk Hogan, and his epic feuds with Rick Steamboat, Ric Flair and the Ultimate Warrior. Still hard to believe Macho Man, Miss Elizabeth and Sensational Sherri are all dead.
Macho Man retired from wrestling after his WCW stint in the late '90s, and became generally reclusive, never returning to WWE for nostalgia appearances or a Hall of Fame induction.
I could do a pretty decent Macho Man impression back in the day, then again, I suppose every kid in the '80s could, too. But look on the bright side- if you're graduating this week, you get to hear his music!
A classic interview with Mean Gene:
Savage's classic match against Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III, with commentary by Gorilla Monsoon and Governor Ventura:
And Savage's classic Main Event win against Ted DiBiase a year later:
Jeffrey Goldberg has been indispensable in his analysis of the Obama speech:
President Obama's speech was enthusiastically pro-Israel. I don't mean pro-Israel merely in the "he's speaking hard truths the Israelis must hear about the occupation if their country is to survive as a Jewish democracy" sort of way. I mean, it was pro-Israel in a red-meat I-heart-Israel, damn-Hamas, Iran-can-go-to-hell, Israel is the eternal Jewish state sort of way.
This is a pretty brilliant rendition of that Newt Gingrich press release:
Bill Simmons, Chuck Klosterman, and Charles Barkley. I've read a total of eight books authored by those three guys.
Dick Durbin is not a fan.
I review the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie at Patch here.
I have so little appetite for discussing and/or debating Mideast politics at this point that, as you may have noticed, I almost never talk about it here anymore. I just know if I do mention the subject I'm likely to be called both a self-hating Jew and a dual-loyalties Israel-firster by different people in reaction to saying the same thing.
All I'll say about the speech is that I agree with Jeffrey Goldberg that what Obama said about the '67 lines isn't appreciably different from what U.S. policy has been since the start of the Oslo process. I also agree with Daniel Larison (and I don't usually):
That seems to be the pattern. First, Obama re-states the rather bland U.S. policy consensus. Next, his critics treat this as a dramatic and radical change to current policy when it isn’t anything of the sort, and the Israeli government pretends that the consensus view is some new, horrible imposition that cannot be tolerated. At the same time, Obama’s political foes declare that he has betrayed Israel, which ought to reveal them as buffoons but instead somehow makes them seem more “credible” on foreign policy. After all of this, Obama backs down and stops saying anything about the uncontroversial position that caused the phony controversy.I also am more sure than ever that the entire "Obama hates Israel" meme is just a brazen, doomed attempt to get Jews to vote Republican.
I'm no defender of Lars Von Trier, but he probably didn't deserve to be kicked out of Cannes for some extremely convoluted quotes about Jews and Nazis. Say what you will about the Nazis, but they were better filmmakers than Lars- Leni Reifenstahl's work didn't have nearly as much genital mutilation. The level of anti-Americanism in the work of the two directors is roughly equal.
Sportswriter Scott Raab saw it fit two nights ago to make a joke on Twitter comparing Dirk Nowitski's defense to "Zyklon D." Get it? Because Dirk is German?
Raab is a journalist- a pretty good one, at times- and Cleveland native who reacted to LeBron James' departure as though his wife had left him, with an extremely mean-spirited series of articles, tweets and an upcoming book. A few weeks ago he was on with Howard Eskin- who has essentially excised all topics from his show other than "I hate LeBron James" and all I could think while listening is, "wow, this guy really needs to get the fuck over it."
I was reading my Google Reader today and came across a first-person piece by a reporter who was complaining that Sugar Ray Leonard has come forward with allegations of sexual abuse, and this author didn't believe it because in interviews years earlier, Sugar Ray had not revealed this.
I hadn't seen the byline at the top, but I quickly realized, "this has to be Buzz Bissinger. No other journalist in the world is a big enough asshole to write this." Sure enough, I was right.
The Daily Beast's Chris Lee on a certain new movie:
How else but for a kind of willful amnesia and collective embrace of cinematic dreck do you explain the popularity of the third chapter, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, a blunderbuss of untied plot threads in nearly three hours of critically drubbed suckitude that still clocked $963 million in global ticket receipts?... First comes the set-up: Characters spout gibberish dialogue in a quasi-English/half-drunk pirate accent that no one (save, perhaps, four-peat screenwriting offenders Terry Rossio and Stuart Beattie) can understand. Then, with character exposition out of the way, a chase sequence inevitably follows—usually involving Sparrow swinging down from said mast on said rope—leading up to a multi-gagillion-dollar waterlogged set piece involving jousting skeletons or something. Gibberish, chase, set piece. Gibberish, chase, set piece. Lather, rinse, repeat.
As you may have heard, Jerome Corsi, the author of the John Kerry swift-boat book, has a new book out called "Where's the Birth Certificate," which was announced months ago and hit #1 on Amazon after Matt Drudge mentioned it. The publisher behind it, undeterred by the whole part where Obama actually released his birth certificate this week, has gone ahead and released the book this week.
Esquire, in an act of satire, ran the following report this morning:
In a stunning development one day after the release of Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, by Dr. Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah has announced plans to recall and pulp the entire 200,000 first printing run of the book, as well as announcing an offer to refund the purchase price to anyone who has already bought either a hard copy or electronic download of the book.World Net Daily, the nutty website from which many stories of the birther hoax emerged, reacted incredulously:
National mag publishes fabricated report attacking Corsi bookFarah goes on to accuse Esquire of having "demonstrated its total disregard for the truth." Little bit of hypocrisy there, huh?
Esquire claims best-seller being disavowed by publisher, 'pulled from shelves'
A major national publication that endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 today published a completely fabricated news story claiming Jerome Corsi's new best-selling "Where's the Birth Certificate" has been disavowed by the publisher, taken out of stores nationwide and refunds given to any and all customers.
I don't know what's worse- that they failed to recognize it as satire, or that they're calling a parody of their book fabricated, when the book itself is fabricated.
New Item: Harmon Killebrew dies at age 74
Like I said before, I never saw Killebrew play, but he's been around the team for my entire life, and always a big part of their history. I never met him but I'm pretty sure I must've seen him at the Hall of Fame induction in 2001. It speaks well of the man that opinion is virtually unanimous that he was a wonderful person.
Killebrew was the second-greatest Twin ever (have to give the nod to Kirby), leaving, I guess, Rod Carew as the greatest living Twin, to be surpassed eventually (I hope) by Mauer.
Ladies and gentlemen, Rick Santorum! What does it say when Newt Gingrich isn't even the biggest asshole running for president?
Santorum arguing that a man who ACTUALLY WAS TORTURED doesn't know how torture works just underscores something I've noticed lately: Usually, there are no repercussions whatsoever for being a liar or an asshole in politics. But in Santorum's case, there was- he said a horribly hateful thing about gay people, and as a result, his name is ruined forever. So thank you for that, Dan Savage.
Rachel Maddow has more:
Walter Russell Mead has another great take, this time on the Israeli/Palestinian issue, that makes an astute, not-raised-enough point about the conflict: that even if there's a peace deal, it's going to leave a LOT of people unhappy, on both sides and all over the world, to the point where even a peace isn't likely to be a lasting one.
I agree with that, and my pessimism is part of the reason why I almost never mention Israel or the Middle East here anymore.
It's a take that's pretty critical of Obama, too. So naturally, just about every one of the comments chides Mead for being too nice to Obama.
News Item: Timberwolves get second pick in NBA Draft.
The Wolves continue their unblemished record of never either getting the #1 pick or moving up in the lottery. They've never picked second either, until now. Although it is, of course, the worst draft in a decade...
I mean, if Rubio comes over and they get an impact player with the second pick, they have to become good again eventually, right? Right?
I'm not exactly sure what this "Bridesmaids" critique is getting at, but I totally disagree with it. The author's position seems to be "this movie isn't the exact depiction of women that I want it to be, so screw it."
The thing that's most shocking to me is that he somehow kept it a secret for so long. I mean, this happened before he ran for governor the first time. He ran for governor twice, was governor for seven years, and had a whole lot of enemies on both the right and left. No one's opposition research caught this before now? No reporter did either? And there weren't even rumors?
I'm also wondering why this is so much more of an outrage than those stories in 2003 about him groping women on movie sets. Sure, cheating on your wife with an employee and getting her pregnant is a pretty jerk move, but isn't playing nonconsensual grabass with multiple women much worse? When that story got out most of the outrage was about how the story broke right before the election.
This commercial for some reason made me laugh for about ten straight minutes:
News Item: Donald Trump not running for president
It was never going to happen, of course. Do you think Trump wants to give up his opulent lifestyle to go shake hands with people in Iowa and New Hampshire? Of course not.
Anyway, the guy who wasn't serious about running and had something as his main argument that was demonstrably false. Good job, political media, on giving him hours and hours of media coverage.
Get that advice and others in my latest Week in Electronics Retail Crime.
Not the type of honor I wanted to see for my native state...
Jeffrey Goldberg, ruminating on the phrase "to the right of Attila the Hun":
Attila the Hun was very right-wing, even compared with other Huns, who were, as a rule, advocates of small government, school choice, and beheading. Attila first came to public attention when he issued his "Contract With Mongolia," which called for lower taxes, ending state subsidies for unfunded federal mandates, the pillaging of Scythia, and an end to collective bargaining. His decision to invade western Europe was motivated in part by a desire to dismantle the welfare state, and in part by a desire to rape government employees. Though Attila was in many respects a social conservative, he was also an advocate of postnatal abortion. After retiring from politics, he worked as an executive at Koch Industries, and appeared on Dancing With the Stars.
Congrats to former Villanova basketball player Will Sheridan, the third most-famous person to come out of the closet in the last 12 hours.
Thoughts on a few recent rentals:
- "How Do You Know." I was sort of excited about this one, since director James L. Brooks is capable of great stuff (namely, "Broadcast News") and I saw it being filmed in Philadelphia over the course of several months last year. But my goodness, it was a disaster.
The movie is about nothing in particular, its characters are all thin and uninteresting, the writing and dialogue are atrocious, falling into all of Brooks' worst tendencies and none of his best, and the performances are nothing much either. Paul Rudd plays his character as a whining, simpering jackass, Jack Nicholson gives a career-worst turn, and the blinding revelation between them is obvious in the movie's first scene.
Also, the film is set in D.C., even though with the exception of one street corner in Adams Morgan every single outdoor establishing shot is recognizably in Philadelphia. I'm also wondering how the movie could have possibly cost $120 million- that's the price of a large-market baseball team, not a romantic comedy with no special effects. Ugh.
- "Cyrus." The Hollywood debut of Mumblecore directors Jay and Mark Duplass- also known as Pete from "The League" and his brother- is much better than any film that comes from that awful genre. Good performances by John C. Reilly as a nervous suitor and Marisa Tomei as his girlfriend with a very attached adult son (Jonah Hill.) It's as creepy as it sounds, but this comedy/drama must've left most of the comedy on the cutting room floor.
-"Fair Game"- If you can get past Sean Penn, once again, ranting like an idiot about he's right and everyone else is wrong, it's a pretty decent thriller and accurate (as far as I can gather) story of Plamegate. It's also refreshing to see a thriller in which the villains, rather than thinly disguised versions of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, actually ARE Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.
I first saw the quote on Twitter and figured "come on, there's no way it could really sound that bad in context." Then I saw the context:
. “President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history,” Gingrich said. “I would like to be the most successful paycheck president in American history.”Oh, this is just so wrong on so many different levels.
One, the idea that the Obama Administration prefers to keep people permanently on public assistance isn't supported by the facts: Obama has actually cut food stamps
Two, Obama's mother actually was on food stamps for a time. Rather than causing her family to remain permanently dependent on the government teat, her son ended up being elected president of the United States. The "most successful food stamps president" description is only accurate if you mean "the most successful president whose family once received food stamps."
And three, the racial dog-whistle implications of the statement are beyond dispute. It's pure Southern Strategy. It was Gingrich telling a Georgia audience, in effect, "Obama is taking your money and giving it to the blacks." The trope isn't new, of course; the next time a mid-level Republican or Tea Party functionary sends out a racist Obama-related email will be the 785th.
Just shows again what slime Newt is. I'm already excited for the guy who dumped wives for mistresses two different times to give a major address on the sanctity of marriage.
I never saw Killebrew play; he was before my time. But everything I've ever heard about the man says he's all-time nice guy, in addition to being one of the very greatest sluggers in baseball history.
The Twins are a relatively young franchise, and therefore nearly all of their all-time greats (other than Kirby Puckett, I mean) are still alive. I'll be very sad when Killebrew is gone as well.
Houston Press: The "Hot Sex Offenders" List: An Explanation and Apology
The great Matt Labash follows former 2 Live Crew frontman Luther Campbell's campaign for mayor of Miami-Dade. And you thought Common's foray into politics was controversial...
It doesn't matter what President Obama does. A vocal minority on the right will insist, against all evidence, that he is a "weak-kneed liberal." And Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Andy McCarthy and others will be right there to encourage them in this delusion or pander to them. It's idiotic, and it distracts from sound criticism of the current administration. But it is perhaps inevitable given that the mainstream of the conservative movement has invested so much in the demonstrably false narrative that Obama is weak on terrorism.
I review the excellent "Bridesmaids" on Patch.
So the Vikings have chosen Arden Hills, a suburban spot sort of between Minneapolis and St. Paul, as their ideal stadium location. Sure, lots of hurdles remain- and I can't see this legislature passing a bill this year- but a location is better than no location- and Arden Hills is better than L.A.
Minneapolis would've been better, of course, but the WIlfs really seem to want to have a location where they can build real estate around it, plus have a parking lot for tailgating. Fair enough.
But a retractable roof? I want the Vikings playing outside in December, in a position where opposing teams are afraid to come there. And they want to host Super Bowls? If you thought the sportswriters bitched about Dallas, wait until they're in Minnesota, in February, having to get to a suburban stadium.
I was down in Washington the last three days covering the Consumer Electronics Association's annual events down there. Here's my write-up of CES on the Hill, and here's my look at the Digital Patriots Dinner. And here's the new E-Gear Weekly newsletter.
So Bernard Hopkins gave the same ignorant, hateful diatribe towards Donovan McNabb that he's already given 15 other times- because he's from a middle class, two-parent household, McNabb isn't really black, he has no heart, and he sucks- but for some reason, this time the national medium picked it up. Good. Maybe now Hopkins can reap some of the embarrassment he so richly deserves.
So the biggest controversy of the NBA playoffs so far this year was the Lakers' meltdown in their last game against Dallas, which included Andrew Bynum essentially clotheslining Dallas' JJ Barea, getting ejected from the game, and then taking off his shirt as he left the court.
Bynum got a five-game suspension for the hit and was fined an additional $25,000 for taking off his shirt. When I listened to the "MIke and Mike" show, Greenberg was beside himself about the shirt, and even argued that Bynum should be in even more trouble for that than for the flagrant foul.
WHY? Who gives a shit that he took his shirt off? Why in the world is that any sort of major violation? I know David Stern's biggest nightmare is for the fans to think black players are "thugs," but I don't see how in any universe the removal of one's shirt could be more punishable than an actual act of physical violence that could've hurt someone.
The DecorMyEyes Guy, the worst SEO villain in history, finally goes down.
There was a pretty noxious article that got passed around by quite a few of my Facebook friends today, it's from David Horowitz's Front Page site and is titled "Why the Left Cried When Osama Died." The article flogs the assumption that 1. "The Left" was happy about 9/11 and 2. "The Left" is sad that Osama Bin Laden is dead.
Now, if you're on "The Left," chances are the article would come as news to you, because chances are no, you didn't cry. I know a whole lot of liberals and leftists, and every one of them saw 9/11 as a horrible tragedy and is thrilled that Bin Laden was killed.
I sort of thought Obama ordering the successful killing of Osama would put to a rest all this talk of a mythical "leftist-Islamist alliance." But I guess not. I mean, there's nothing liberal about al-Qaeda.
Sure, a handful of schmucks like Noam Chomsky have said what you'd expect them to say, and various people, including theologians, have pondered the ethical implications of assassinating terrorists. But the other 99 percent of those who identify as liberal want no part of that and celebrated Bin Laden's death as a great day.
I didn't know about this until today. Did you?
I don't care, at all. But I've got a feeling that Mitch Daniels having been dumped by his wife, and then taking her back three years later, will hurt him more with more voters than Newt Gingrich's serial affairs and trading-in of wives.
Nobody likes Sbarro. Devoid of atmosphere, charm, and gustatory relevance, with no signature product to call its own, it's America's least essential restaurant... The food there is mediocre and unimaginative—assembly-line Italian festooned with cheese and sugary tomato sauce, a bland version of the homey fare found at postseason soccer banquets or church fundraising suppers. It's expensive, too—a doughy, oleaginous slice of plain pizza costs $3.49 nationwide, and you're certainly not paying extra for ambiance. The prevailing sentiments among online reviewers alternate between disgust ("If you like pizza dough that tastes like clay, then this would be your spot to go") and resignation ("I stopped by the Sbarro at the Philly airport because the line was shorter than the philly cheesesteak line").I'm something of a fast-food apologist, but Sbarro is where I draw the line.
Jon Stewart has the last word on "Commongate":
Alan Sepinwall says goodbye to what he calls the worst story arc in the history of "How I Met Your Mother."
This is just beautiful:
But shouldn't the icon at the end have been spinning?
I knew Obama being a "Wire" fan would do some good eventually...
The potential Republican field is made up of two distinct types of candidates: loony-ass, polarizing insurgents drunk on Christian mysticism and/or ego sickness (Michelle Bachmann, Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin) and waffling, opportunistic bores destined to spend most of the primary campaign arguing that they are less terrifying to imagine holding the nuclear briefcase than anyone from the first group (Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney)... Romney is one of the first politicians I’ve ever covered who is a fair bet to change his mind on an issue in the middle of a speech. His whole political career is one of the funniest things I’ve ever experienced. In fact, it’s too bad South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker didn’t include Romney’s career as one of the mathematically-inevitable jokes invented by the German-designed “FunnyBot” from their awesome new episode last night – Romney is what you get when a creature raised entirely in the corporate marketing world enters politics and honestly doesn’t realize that you can’t change your mind with the times the same way you change food labels or car designs.
Making fun of Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is so much fun it’s kind of a sport unto itself. Selig has the hangdog countenance of a man who has spent most of his life fending off wedgies, prying himself out of lockers he was stuffed into, and peeling off KICK ME signs taped to his back. The man just has a Mr. Magoo feel to him, like he is perpetually walking into situations that he somehow finds a way to bungle. If you were to invite him over for dinner, by the end of the night all your nice china would be broken, your carpet would be covered in pasta sauce, and he would have accidentally unhooked your grandfather’s oxygen tank. And he’d stand there with the same look he had on his face at the end of the 2002 All-Star Game—the one that ended in a tie because they ran out of pitchers—that “Who, me?” befuddled slack jaw. He is a man of slumped shoulders, hidden in a suit that’s too big for him, wearing a clip-on tie covered in mustard stains.
Gotta love this. Sometimes two big things happen the same weekend and you don't have a Sunday edition.
This montage might as well be the entire basis for Olivia Munn's career:
This Internet wrestling talk show host really, really isn't happy with what's going on in TNA these days, especially Ric Flair's physique:
Google channels the "Married Life" montage in "Up," once again, for its latest 90-second spot, its third masterpiece in a row:
There's a talent to these commercials, a storytelling expertise, an artistry, to the point where whoever directed this really needs to get a deal to direct a movie immediately.
The Atlantic has a great Photoshop array of the famous Situation Room photo. My favorite part is the Xbox controller.
Jeffrey Goldberg, on the Bush-led assassination of Bin Laden:
Man, my inbox is filling up with e-mails from haters worried that the killing of Osama Bin Laden might be understood as Barack Obama's achievement. Imagine that: Crediting Barack Obama for ordering this operation, when it obviously should be credited to President Martin Van Buren... To which I suggest the following slogan to the Obama campaign: "Barack Obama: He Rescued General Motors and Killed Osama Bin Laden. How About You?"I apologize for this burst of splenetic partisanship, but really: How ridiculous can people be? There are some people out there who, if Barack Obama cured cancer, would blame him for neglecting the fight against heart disease.
Out of West Virginia: Man 'high on bath salts' arrested in bra, panties, accused of stabbing goat
Houston's Fox affiliate "debates" whether or not "Glee" should depict homosexuality:
Good job by the activist guy, though. And there's no doubt in the world that Bryan Fischer is gayer than Kurt from "Glee."
It's every Bill Paxton line from "Aliens":
I was at a movie screening tonight that got delayed and then ultimately canceled, so I got home early- just early enough to watch the last two innings of the Twins game, as Francisco Liriano no-hit the White Sox in Chicago.
The game, in which Liriano had only two strikeouts and had the benefit of several good defensive plays and one very questionable call on a play at first base, represents both the first good thing to happen to the Twins all year and Liriano's first good outing of the year. He was even reportedly pitching to keep his rotation spot.
I thought about waking up Noah to see the last inning, but in his 15 and a half months he's already seen two no hitters, both by Roy Halladay.
The CBS affiliate in the nation's largest city used shrieking loon Pam Geller as an "expert" in a news story:
No, Barack Obama hasn't done every single thing right as president. That Walter Russell Mead critique is substantively true. But that said, you can't say he hasn't accomplished anything significant, especially after Sunday: Andrew Sullivan on Obama and Osama:
Obama avoided a plunge into the second Great Depression. He saved the auto industry. His bank bailout may make a profit. He has withdrawn most troops from Iraq. He has ended the ban on openly gay servicemembers. He has appointed two women to the Supreme Court. He muscled universal healthcare through the Congress into law. He ended torture as the law of the land.We're way too quick to give the president complete credit or complete blame for absolutely everything that happens. Obviously the biggest heroes in this are the special forces who carried out the raid themselves. But Obama appears to have made the exact right decision every step of the way, and the process completely disproving several of the key anti-Obama talking points, from "indecisive" to "soft on terrorism" to "secretly working with our enemies."
Abroad, since his Cairo speech, democratic revolution after revolution has occurred. From Tehran to Tunisia to Egypt, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen, the march of freedom George W Bush imagined has actually swept the region under his successor. Where Obama has failed - Israel/Palestine - he may still prevail.
But the capture and killing of bin Laden eclipses these. It does two things instantly: it tells us that an American named Barack Hussein Obama ordered the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. A man who symbolizes an integrative, tolerant, multicultural future defeated the symbol of a twisted, dark, fundamentalist past. A man who represents the human continuum of the developing and developed worlds defeated a man who seeks only one world and Shariah rule over all of it. And it also tells those who have been bombarded with lies and rumors and disgusting smears that this president, whatever they have been told, is no weakling, no terror-lover, no alien. He is as American as every new passport holder and every ancient Southern or Yankee family.
He found and killed the man Red and Blue America equally wanted found and captured or killed. And in that specific fact, a certain narrative - the narrative the degenerate right has been trying to fix to him for years - must now die. And it must die in the heart of the red states as well as in the mind of the blue ones.
That said- if your reaction to the news was to give full credit to Bush and none to Obama, then you're a hyperpartisan cretin.
And besides- if the failure of the rescue mission in Iran in 1979 was proof of Carter's ineptitude, why isn't the successful operation to kill Bin Laden the opposite for Obama?
Google's first-ever TV commercial, aired during the 2010 Super Bowl, may be my favorite televised ad of all time. Tonight their second aired, about Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" project:
It aired during "Glee" tonight, an episode built around Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours," an album clearly near and dear to anyone who's a high school student in 2011.
The news from Taiwan:
Bill Maher is complaining that the Onion stole a joke from him, in a piece that it turns out was a reprint from years before the Maher joke.
This instantly leapfrogs to the top of my "Most Anticipated Upcoming Movies" list:
Kathryn Bigelow, who is responsible for The Hurt Locker, an Iraq war movie that’s both profoundly moral and tremendously gripping, is already working on a project with the working title of Kill bin Laden. Her Hurt Locker collaborator, Mark Boal, who also wrote the magazine story that formed the basis for In the Valley of Elah, is working on the movie with her.Since "The Hurt Locker" is, other than a handful of documentaries, literally the only good Iraq War film, I trust this team in making the Bin Laden movie much more than I would, say, Michael Bay, Peter Berg or Paul Haggis.
As I learned while in Minnesota for five days, the Minnesota GOP has decided to push a referendum for next year for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
This woman, who unlike the lunatic Congresswoman from the 6th district represents the best of Minnesota's Republicans, had this to say:
Aside from the obvious vileness of the amendment itself, it would have no effect- same-sex marriage is already illegal in Minnesota, so it will stay illegal whether the amendment passes or fails. It's obviously only being pursued as a voter turnout machine, which will undoubtedly fail when Barack Obama wins Minnesota in 2012, even if the Republican nominee is Tim Pawlenty.
I laughed much harder at this than I should have:
When I'm in Washington next week I'll be sure to visit all the sites of the Beaker in DC meme.
Wow, I thought this was a pretty newsworthy weekend even before Sunday night...
Osama Bin Laden is dead, after he was killed by American forces in Pakistan early on Sunday.
First, I must say that this is a great, great day. I was across the river from New York on that day, and I could see the smoke out my apartment window. I lived in New York for four years after that day, and can only imagine what today means for that city, especially for the many who lost their loved ones.
This will end the war on terrorism the way the election of Obama ended racism- meaning, not at all. But it is a huge and significant victory.
And no, I don't want to see this entire thing through the lens of politics. But of all the things Obama hasn't handled especially well of late, it does seem like he did everything right here.
Of course, tonight is one of those nights that no one watching will ever forget. It was also the greatest night in the history of Twitter, beating out every Super Bowl, every Oscar or election night, and everything else.
One of the better things about tonight- a "U.S.A." chant that broke out during the Mets/Phillies game:
The game, strangely, went 13 innings, continuing until hours after the news broke. If only the Phils had won and triggered the in-stadium Liberty Bell, but alas no...
And finally, this guy's gotta be pretty happy tonight:
In what seems like a lifetime ago, I reviewed "Fast Five" for Patch.
I greatly enjoyed Seth Meyers' White House Correspondents Dinner routine; the delivery was a bit choppy but the material top-notch, and the highlight was dagger after dagger at Donald Trump, as Trump could only stare stone-faced at his second biggest humiliation of the week.
But that wasn't the highlight. This was:
Reminded me a bit too much of "The Soup"'s "Gay Shows" intro:
John Cena announces the news, live on pay-per-view:
Speaking of which, it turns out The Rock broke the story before anyone else, according to the wonderful news outlet known as Badass Digest.
This had to have been the worst three-game series in Twins history that didn't involve a playoff loss to the Yankees. Aside from Joe Mauer being out, Francisco Liriano forgetting how to pitch, Joe Nathan failing to come back successfully and the entire lineup slumping, the team's problem is that they have about 10 people on their roster who have no business being on a major league team.
I'm in Minnesota this week and was excited to be able to watch them on TV. Ugh, not so excited anymore.
So Christian Ponder, hmm. He wasn't even supposed to be a first round pick, but I like what I've seen so far. Other than Daunte Culpepper, the Vikings haven't had the same quarterback for three years in a row in my lifetime, so they're going to have to develop someone like that eventually. Then again, they're again looking at #5, I guess as a transitional starter.
I know I usually defend Obama around here, but here's probably the most convincing critique I've ever read of him. Indeed, there are plenty of legitimate things to criticize about the president- "he's a bad negotiator," "he doesn't stand for things enough," "he doesn't fight for things"- rather than, say, "he's not from America," "he supports terrorism," "he's Muslim," etc.
Is this the most pre-hyped website of all time? I think it must be. No, I can't wait, and no, I don't think the silly name will ever hurt it. When was the last time you thought about what "Deadspin" means?
Best news moment of the weekend (until Sunday night, anyway): Brian Williams is in Mississippi covering the tornado. One of his colleagues is in London covering the wedding. After the wedding part, the London anchor throws it back to Williams, who has a look in his eyes that says "Fuck you, fuck your pageantry, just look behind me."
Paul Domowich made a great point last week after the first round of the Eagles' draft:
Andy Reid coughs and he is accused of arrogance. He trades up last year for an undersized pass-rusher that most teams had pegged as a 3-4 rush linebacker and he is accused of thinking he’s smarter than you and me and the personnel men of the NFL’s other 31 teams.Obama also gets called "arrogant" regardless of what he did. I think to most people, "arrogant" doesn't mean "arrogant," it means, "something someone I don't like did that I don't like."
So, when he drafted a 26-year-old fireman with the 23rd pick in the first round Thursday night, it hardly was a shock when the e-mails started pouring in accusing Big Red of, yep, arrogance.
Shocking happenings on "The Real World" last week:
Among the eight strangers living together in the 25th Real World house—a suite in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas—is Dustin Zito. He is a 24-year-old from Louisiana whose MTV bio says that he "grew up with a bi-polar, drug addicted mom and an abusive step-dad." But it is the part of his bio that says he was "a cast member on a website that featured an uncensored look at a house of attractive guys living together" that has earned the most attention.He kept the secret from his roommates until last week's episode, including the woman who he was having sex with.
True, he lied to his roommates about the exact nature of what he did, and past appearances in gay porn is the sort of thing that probably should be disclosed in any new relationship. But I was struck by how the roommates were much more judgmental about that transgression than they were about the various misdeeds of former roommate Adam, a violent, drunken sociopath who committed various assaults on people and property before he was kicked out of the hotel.
And yes, I still watch "The Real World." Last week's episode was my favorite moment of its kind since the last season when Ryan, the roommate who constantly insisted he wasn't gay, in a single motion 1) ran away from a naked woman, and 2) hid in a closet.
Listen, you Wire people: Please shut the fuck up. Liking The Wire doesn't mean you wrote the fucking thing. I'm on the fourth season of The Wire, and those The Wire people are right in that the show is truly awesome. But there's no credibility to be had in just telling people you WATCHED the fucking thing. A hidden gem? IT WAS ON FUCKING HBO. It's been critically acclaimed and hailed by many as perhaps the finest TV show ever created. And you can find it anywhere: On Demand, on DVD, on Channel 101 on DirecTV. You don't have to enter some secret society to watch that show. Any asshole can watch it. And you don't have to be intelligent to "get" it (Whitlock alone is proof of that). It has shootings and sex scenes and people swearing all the fucking time. Even stupid people can appreciate that. So don't go treating The Wire like it's some kind of secret fucking handshake between intellectuals. Saying you watched it isn't gonna impress anyone. At all. YA HAPPY NOW, BITCH?Ya feel me?