Thursday, January 31, 2008

One Last Aravosis Post

I am surprised Aravosis isn't pissing and moaning about the Senate Finance Committee stimulus plan. I mean, holy shit dude, they're like totally only giving you $500 dollars if you make under $75,000 a year instead of the $600 of the House plan. Dude, like OMG, that's totally taking money out of your pocket! You should totally get all huffy and throw a fit on your blog about it, Aravosis.

Also, freak cobag drops eight inch log. That post displays a complete and utterly irrevocable lack of understanding of both global climate change and global warming.

Make sure you change the post title every five minutes to prevent other sites from linking to yours, even though you have more ads on Americablog that Vanity Fair. Speaking of vanity...

Author's Note: Getting "all huffy" has nothing to do with Aravosis' gay status, even if he claims that means that he can call people sexist insults, The Genius only thinks of Aravosis as a cobag.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

There and Bake Again and The Lord of the Confections

As I have made abundantly and belligerently clear, I made some fucking amazing, fandangtastic, scrumbumdiddlyumptious cookies for the Holiday Bake-Off 2007 cookie contest.

I secured tins for these mightily addicting concoctions of absolute sweetness, one each per judging location. I carefully wrapped my cookies, if such a meager word can be used in the description of my creations, in layers of wax paper so that they would travel securely and arrive uncrumbed. I sealed the tins with packing tape, so that they would not dry out and stalefy while in angel's flight to their sweet princes and princesses of judgery.

I made one critical error in this process. I took them to a store with which I have a somewhat troubled history. One of the brothers of indeterminate number was a former employee of this shipping and packing establishment. This may have had something to do with the events that happened next.

I paid for a detailed packing job with involving bubble wrap and a box to convey my cookies, if such an ordinary word can be used in the description of my creations. The unfortunate events happened after I paid a high price for security and shipping and left the store. Somehow, a "miscommunication" and a "misunderstanding" lead my tins of cookies to be wrapped in a paper bag, labeled, and shipped. This faulty, insufficient, and EXPENSIVE label tore off during shipment. The packages were sent back to the store whence they came and I was notified over the Christianic Holy Weekend of Saturnalia of this "MISTAKE".

I exclaimed with a clamor!
How could this be? I prepared with such rigor!

On the day I arrived in the store to inquire after the packages I had hoped would be enshrined on the judges' mantles, I met two employees. Two employees who were having a lovely day eating my cookies, if such an insignificant word can be used in the description of my creations. THEY WERE EATING MY FUCKING COOKIES. They were eating my fucking cookies. They were eating the cookies over which I had slaved and slaved. They were eating the carefully written messages of hope! They were eating my good tidings! They were eating my in jokes! They were eating my cobagz! They were eating my fucking cookies!

I retained a leash upon my temper and did not succumb to the temptation to burn the building to the ground and salt the earth upon which it stood. I asked them why they had opened my pakcage and begun eating the contents. They said that they had found them on the counter and thought the tins were gifts for having to work the day after the holy day. I called the manager and she flew down with a dash. We exchanged unpleasantries and harsh words. I am ashamed to admit that at one point I implied physical violence after she admitted that she might have had something to do with the faulty packing job. An offhand comment to a new employee resulted in the completely worthless paper bag packing job.

In the end, I was refunded the money that I spent on the packing ($60). The manager gave me a song and dance about the shipping fees and how the store was not a franchise, it was a corporate location and she could not offer refunds for the shipping in this situation. She also said that since I had not insured the packages that she was not liable for her employees eating them. I was apoplectic with rage and told her to, "eat a steaming pile of dogshit" and gave her a suggestion as to where she could find some. Then I left.*

I was enraged!
I was infuriated!
I left the store in a huff,
I let loose a mighty bellow!

I was sad!
I was mad!
I wanted to run in the buff,
I was indeed not mellow!

The truly disappointing part was that my cookies will never be tasted by judges and declared without doubt the winners for all time, all universes, and all realities. I was able to bring some to my other brother's, of indeterminate number, house for consumption by his family and my aunt. They all thought they were amazing and extremely impressed. My brother's mother in law, a grandmother, asked if I had used beer in the recipe, but if I had she didn't mind because they were excellent. My aunt, another grandmother, also said that these cookies were wonderful and was surprised that I had produced a cookie, if such a boring word can be used in the description of my creations, of such quality.

Since both of these women are grandmothers and since everyone agrees that grandma made the best cookies, I feel safe in declaring myself the Winner In Absentia of the Holiday Bake-Off 2007.

Sure, I Sound Informed and Smart

...and with a smile like mine, people really want to believe me. I could probably act the part of a talking head quite well. Could I live with myself if that were my life? Could I endure the knowledge that it was the confidence in my voice and the sincerity in my eyes that changed minds and won converts and not the strength of my arguments?

I doubt it. I feel bad enough that I just won a water cooler conversation with both traits and a smidgen of recent campaign news. I wouldn't mind being persuasive and influential, but I object to the manner by which I might achieve both.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Music Post Coming, Seriously Guys, I Mean It This Time

I am unusually swamped at work and trying to do more with my evenings than get fatter and acquire more pieces of my Tier 4 gear. I am exercising regularly again which is nice and actually trying to amke dinner of some sort, instead of just buying ready made shit all the time.

All I have time to say right now is: go see Super Furry Animals if you get a chance. Make the chance to go see them.

Monday, January 28, 2008

So Now I Owe the Uncanny Canadian

He told me that I could not miss Holy Fuck, The Fiery Furnaces and Super Furry Animals. I feel like I have found something not at all hidden from me but I desperately missing nonetheless. I guess it's kinda like love, except I'm not able to feel that because of all the cold, dead tentacles.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Different Financial Situations in the District of Columbia

I make 41,000 dollars on the button, not counting my benefits which I have no idea how to calculate. We'll make a liberal assessment of my benefits and set them at 6,000, including the two courses my employer has payed for me to take. Maybe very liberal.

My debts: 5,700 in credit cards that all came from stupid shit I bought a while ago or plane tickets to weddings that I didn't pay off as fast as I should.

My monthly payments:
Cable/internet: $70
Cell phone: $95 (really need to cancel that bullshit Data Plan)
Auto/Renters Insurance: $38 ten months of the year
Electricity: $20 a month (compact flourescents and smart usage)
Rent: $850 for a 427 sq. ft. efficiency in the District (rent control means $875 on March 1st)

I dunno, maybe 30 or 35% of gross pay? Something like that. Unlike some fluffy cobagz, I don't mind paying my taxes because I understand what taxes allow. A lot of that I don't like, but that is why I try to change government without breaking the law.

School Debt:
Haven't been to grad school.

Basically, if you want to pay less than Aravosis and all his "friends" pay to live in the District, you can do it easily. I get the feeling that he lives rather high on the hog, since he claims somewhere around $1200 a month for rent/mortgage but since he keeps renaming or deleting the posts, we can't really ever know the truth. We also have a hard time determining the truth since he keeps breaking it into smaller and smaller pieces so as to make it invisible. All I'm saying is that I am fucking terrible with money (Evidence: have yet to file a tax return for, um, 2004) and if I were earning 75,000 dollars, I would have no debt and be considering either grad school or a trip to Europe or Tibet, while also saving for a house.

Maybe you just suck at life, Aravosis, as badly as you suck at taking valid criticism?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Your Friend is an Idiot but You're a Cobag, Aravosis

In DC, well, again, keep checking out those studios. And another friend has a 900 sq ft condo, and paid more for it than another friend's parents paid for their 6000 sq ft house.

That is a perfect example of something I have said for years, condos are overpriced. I could buy a house in Takoma Park for the prices morons pay for condos. If you really want to buy a condo, wait a bit. Keep saving your money. There are so many condos being finished in DC ever month and all of them are overpriced. Bid under. Like a hundred grand under and you'll likely still get an agent to accept a bid. There are buildings all over town with empty units.

Disecting your statement, I wonder if we can compare those two examples and locate any Emuteuronomy Particles. Your friend bought a 900 square foot condo and paid more than another friend's parents paid for a house TRIPLE the size of the one my parent's owned in Chevy Chase. I'm gonna call bullshit on this one as it reeks of emu and I can clearly see fluffy down all over it. First, appeals to your "friend" are shitty arguments. Second, there is no way your other "friend's parents" bought a 6000 square foot house for less inside the city limits of any city on the East Coast, except maybe waterfront property in New Orleans. A quick search using Our Internet Overlord for "6,000 square foot house for sale in Maryland" and another for "900 square foot condominium in DC" shows that you are so fucking wrong, it must hurt to be you. Unless your "friend" paid way over market and your "friend's parents" are living in Butt Fuck Egypt, there is no way that statement is true. And if that is the case, then your argument was made in poor faith as you are comparing two entirely different real estate markets.

As for the rest of your post, Aravosis, I am formally submitting a reclassification proposal the Board for Emu Identification, Oversight, Theory, Classification and Husbandry to have you relabeled a fluffy cobag. You have used the tools of the right-wing bloggers once too many times, Aravosis. Do not ask for whom the emu squawks, you squawk so that all may hear your squawking and know the sound of the former liberal consumed by selfishness and pride.

Friday Embarassing Music List to the Nth: January 25th

N. Madeleine Peyroux - Don't Cry Baby (everything to do with the Chucklette)
N+1. Johnny Cash - I'm Leaving Now (nothing to do with the Chucklette)
N+2. The Shins - Fighting in a Sack (not a reference to sweaters or the boli stuffing them)
N+3. Campo - En Mi/Soledad (from Bajofondo Tango Club, unlike other posers, I can actually tango the dress right off you, even you Billy Pilgrim)
N+4. Timo Maas - Eclipse (from Music for the Maases, a DJ set that I got because I liked his song with Kelis)
N+5. Glen Hansard - Leave (from the Once soundtrack, enough said)
N+6. Silver Jews - Honk If You're Lonely (from American Water, that album is nice for sober nights or less than sober nights)
N+7. Joan As Police Woman - Eternal Flame (um, what? Where did this come from?)
N+8. The Fiery Furnaces - Waiting to Know You (from the 930 Club show I missed in 2006 via Fluxblog, I am not missing their show this Sunday with Super Furry Animals!)
N+9. Ben Kweller - Lollipop (nice enough)
N+10. The Flaming Lips - Feeling Yourself Disintegrate (the spider bite song may annoy the Uncanny Canadian, but I still like the album)
N+11. Concrete Blonde - The Sky is a Poisonous Garden (I hope the next song makes up for this one)
N+12. Camera Obscura - Suspended from Class (phew!)
N+13. The Cherry Tempo - In Hindsight I Know (nice enough, I suppose I should check them out more)
N+14. Golden Smog - Shooting Star (from the Clerks soundtrack...we were all classless teenagers, once)
N+15. Guided By Voices - Buzzard and Dreadful Crows (live and not really that interesting)
N+16. Sontiago - Track 5 (Lady-rapping from Maine. Pretty good!)
N+17. DJ Shadow - What Does Your Soul Look Like Pt. 3 (William Hurt says it best)
N+18. Of Montreal - Vegan in Furs (I keep meaning to get the album with Bizarre Celebrations on it)
N+19. Caribou - After Hours (from Andorra)
N+20. Animal Collective - Bees (appropriately odd)

Full Frito, Now in Paperback and an Advance Warning

I could be wrong, but isn't that Smokedog on the cover?

Start saving people, this motorcycle is going on my birthday required-gift list. You failed last year, don't fail me again. Failure makes me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. I take it out on your porcelain.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Review of Cloverfield

(This will be reposted at Reviews N Stuff should that site return.)

Cloverfield is what it is and what is is a monster movie told from the perspective of the most annoying, trustafarian New Yorkers you will ever want to see crushed by tons of falling building or eaten by bizarre tentacled monsters from beyond your imagination. It was not nearly as annoying as the trailers make it seem, but it was extremely shaky, so if you get nauseous, bring your dramamine. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and found almost all of it entertaining and startling.

Despite having a fun time and enjoying the movie, I found all of the characters except the camera man and the Zooey-Deschanel lookalike, Lizzy Caplan, to be extremely irritating. Rob was perfectly scruffy groomed and looked like he was maybe 25 and living in a million dollar apartment that was the epitome of trashy-chic. The fact that a man so self-absorbed would run headlong into danger for a woman he had mistreated was harder to believe than a giant monster from across the eighth dimension attacking New York. The only character I felt any connection with was Hud, the cameraman. He seemed like a basically nice guy that had been friends with Rob and Rob's brother since childhood and had been corrupted only slightly with their conceit. His identity was entirely wrapped around Rob and his motivation was well established. Rob's was less well established and it hurt the plot.

Speaking of the plot, I thought the basic human element of the story was weak. Summary without spoilers: Monster attacks city. Chaos ensues. Yuppie seeks to rescue girl he didn't call for weeks after sleeping with her. Rocks fall. People die. This rescue-the-babe plotline was the weakest part of the movie. I think the characters would have been far less annoying if they had just been running for their lives. As it is, it felt a lot like a first-person shooter videogame where you are unable to loot any guns and get blasting. The monster dictated a lot of the heroes' travel routes by savaging New York and the movie would have been better without the silly love motivation.

Other reviewers have said that that they felt that the monster seemed like it was conveniently after the characters. It did pretty much turn up everywhere they went, but it is important to remember that the group was heading toward the monster as it stomped all over midtown Manhatten. There are a few incidents that are just too damned coincidental for me to dismiss. It sorta felt like the monster was coming to New York because it got the e-vite to Rob's going away party and was just horribly clumsy as it attempted to chase Rob down to give him a big hug. And had the worst case of lice you have ever seen.

At this point, you might think I didn't like Cloverfield. I really did enjoy it. The extras were pitch perfect and the shots of the monster were stunning. This is the only movie I have seen that did not irritate me with the stupid shaky-cam. I am not prone to getting sick from this, even though I can get carsick quite easily. The shaky-camis used in a lot of TV shows and movies in which it is totally unnecessary. Cloverfield is the exact opposite. Hud is shooting the events because he thinks that people will want to know what happened and also because he sure doesn't seem to know what to do with himself without it.

The atmosphere of a city under attack from a giant thing is perfect. There were times when it looks a lot like the footage from 9/11 and this may be hard to deal with for some people. The papers blowing down from shredded office buildings and flaming debris everywhere was impressive. Every second of the movie felt genuine, except for the emoting and the obsessive monster attacks on our main characters. I felt submersed in the story, despite the occasional bounce on skeptic meter (the tunnel scene knocked me completely out of my suspended disbelief because it was ripped straight out of The Descent).

I recommend it to all monster movie fans with strong stomachs. If you are the kind of moron who must have everything explained to you in every movie, then you aren't going to enjoy it. If you don't like richer-than-thou yuppies, you will enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Errors in Logic, Additional Pantload Edition

"As much as it may shock some, I'm not the first person to set the record straight. Maybe those authors didn't penetrate the public debate because they tend to write books titled "Illiberal Policymaking and Culture Formation, the Anglo-American Experience, 1912-2007." If I'd followed their example, no one would be buying my book, reading it or discussing it. And, you can be sure, I wouldn't have been invited on to "The Daily Show" to get smacked around for 20 minutes."

Jonah, you didn't get smacked around for twenty minutes on A Daily Show because you wrote a brave and thoroughly researched historical treatise that blows wide the conspiracy of neo-classical, liberal-inspired, free-market fascism or however the fuck you choose to rebrand progressive politics. You were verbally beat down because you wrote a steaming pile of soggy garbage that flies merrily on your own gaseous emissions and completely in the face of the facts. Your entire book is a longer version of the playground "I know you are but what am I" defense. You redefine liberal more times in your book and that interview than Michael Jackson has redefined his nose.

If you had performed due diligence and written a piece of historical analysis with sources and citations worth the paper they were printed on, you would have written a very different book indeed. I suspect that you also would have been treatd very differently by Jon Stewart. However, you chose instead to rely on conjecture, assertions and Harry Turtledove's alternative historical fiction. This would be fine were you writing a piece of fanfiction, but your book remains a sad and pathetic attempt at rebranding your political adversaries.

P.S. Your claim that many critics of your book have no authority or insufficient credentials to discredit your book is patently false. You have received no advanced degrees and are not fit to include yourself in the ranks of any scholarly cadres.

Tarantula Tuesday: Brief Post on Science Fiction

I really enjoy science fiction, as a genre and a guiding principle. I don't know what that means either as my brain functions have been compromised by what I hope is a simple ear infection and not one of the sandworms from Ceti Alpha Five. I don't need anyone planting simple suggestions in my brain and then letting me die off because I am only a tanshirt in my mind and in reality we all know that I am probably the reddist of redshirts. If you've ever played paintball with me, you'd know exactly what I mean. If you weren't raised by a family of volcanic rocks, you'd know exactly what I mean and I mean that I don't know where I'm going with this at all.

I will continue to let this post grow later in the day. For now, I forgot where I was in the stream and have lost sight of the banks and I think it's salt water which is impeding my analysis of the chapter and verse of my head. I think I just got back on track but I must leave you anyway. I have a meeting to attend which should be pretty outstanding and if I had a video camera, it would be the highest viewed youtuber minutes after being posted. I think I am expected to talk about something, which is nice since something is a topic about which I can blather on all the live long fucking day.

The thing about caffeine is that it frees you of something you may not want in you, like all other drugs. This one just happens to be legal although if the authorities knew what I was doing with it, they probably would ban it. I say that because Lenny Bruce had a point, as do many other fucking nut job right wingers, making yourself think that someone is after you vindicates those feelings of paranoia and self-importance that totally irrelevant and unimportant people feel to make themselves feel better about their totally anonymous and hopeless lives. Like when I was talking to some people in my first freshman year about how they just frigging knew that the FBI was keeping tabs on them1 because of their involvement in the BXXXX Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. I wasn't really talking, I was listening and trying to figure out how I could politely leave that boring conversation without resorting to shooting them in the communicator with a laser rifle or something. Eventually I just walked away from them, but later I learned to fling poop at people and they never bothered me again. What's good for the alpha male and all that. As someone who has actually received a variety of levels government clearances, I have no authority to tell people that the FBI cares about them. It's a fucking science fiction club, not Boy Scout Troop U-238.2 But these were the sort of people who thought the X-Files was the nightly news, so I guess everyone deserves their daydreams. I think I would throw myself off a bridge if I learned that I had lost the capacity to daydream.

That's basically all a role-playing game is, a collective day dream. Some people get together to watch sports, some people get together to talk sports, and some people get together to kidnap a rival corporation's agent, interrogate said agent in a situation involving moral ambiguities3, and then use the gathered information to steal a shuttle and destroy a transport ship of the previously mentioned corporation.

Despite the fact that society is currently undergoing the longest length of time4 without a new episode of Star Trek, this does not mean that we are completely bereft of science fiction. It does mean that the lazy geeks among us are left only with World of Warcraft, the H4LOEZ, EVE online, Surpreme Commander, Mass Effect, Bioshock, endless DVDs, new movies every month that kinda suck and are kinda cool, but that is basically the problem. It isn't that there isn't any new science fiction or that there isn't any easy to get good science fiction, it's that we're all fucking lazy. Role playing games are not easy to coordinate in my life. I am ready to go whenever, but other people in my group have wives, children, cars, orchids, dogs, overtime, taxes, and I have the World of Warcraft which consumes a set amount of time. While it may be fun, the last few weeks I have logged on, I have done exactly the same fucking thing. I do the same couple of quests to get fucking imaginary money to spend on imaginary fucking shit.5 I can pretty much only play on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the odd Sunday morning or Friday, but I can only afford to play the game anymore. I rationalize staying at home because I don't have any money to go out on Friday night. So help me Butterscotch Buddha, if the National Gallery of Art were open on a Friday night, I would go down there and stare at a different painting every Friday for hours on end until I could do nothing but write about it. I don't know if you would want to read that or even if I would, but I think that would be amazing. Maybe I'll do that this Saturday and maybe I'll sprout wings and leave this silent planet.6

Does it matter if Hollywood can't make a decent scifi movie to save the industry and genre? Do we really need science fiction on television? Are we so bereft of imagination that we can not survive without some other person's idea of what the 24th century will be? Are we capable of surviving without Gil Gerard's Awesomely Hairy Chest? If not, I volunteer to be the next to assume the mantle of Buck Rogers. I have all the credentials necessary: cheesy lines, humorously mild chauvanism, full chest of hair, wavy do, thumbs.

There are plenty of decent authors out there and even more less then decent. I, myself and me continue to not write my screenplays while I sit around notwriting dozens of books. Hell, if you want to get all interesting, you can get some friends together and waste some alien rebel scum with a pulse cannon in a game of Battlelords of the 23rd Century. Or perhaps an implosion field cannon-thingy. If you want to know what war will look like in the future, this is it, despite the fact that war never changes.7

There's also Spycraft for those that like their science fiction with a different flavor. Basically, if you don't like the science fiction that is being created by other folks for your easy consumption, make some yourself. That's the best way to cook anyway, toss the recipe into the shredder and throw random ingredients together until you have something that hopefully doesn't make you sick and tastes better than ramen. Also, don't bother reading EW, they wouldn't know decent science fiction if it walked up and sucked out their brains.

1 These days, however, if someone said it was the NSA, I'd just hang up.
2 That troop wins the Golden Matchstick every year for fastest fire lighting. Unfortunately, the last three jamboree areas were designated Superfund sites.
3 Everyone in the group looked at me when we learned we might have to interrogate the agent. I looked at Aristotle and he told me exactly what you think he told me. Not you, you're wrong, but you other people, you're right. I might have imagined this whole scenario, but that is the thing about RPGs. And caffeine.
4 This may or may not be true, I really don't care to verify it.
5 Cue Inevitable Backlash Music
6 Double reference to Christian Mythology on a Triple-Score Self-Deprecating Tile means I phail at life.
7 Turns out I know someone working on press sorta stuff on Fallout 3. I did a huge geekgasm when I found out. I won't break any confidence and neither will my friend, but I hope to view some content soon. I also retain hope that I will be able to waste some mutants on my lawn or cruise by my old video store and vaporize the ruins with a suped-up energy weapon.

Singing in the Brain

I wrote a post for Song of the Day. It's probably being sexed up by the Pinko love machine, but it remains hidden and unsexed by the greater public. Rather like a wang that might be mentioned all too often by other bloggers.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Been Said Before

But I'll say it again. If you aren't out there shoveling your walk and sections of sidewalks after the snow stops, you're a jerk. If you are sitting at home enjoying a nice cup of piping hot cider while your sidewalk turns into a sheet of ice, you're a cobag. You're also liable.

The people in my neighborhood really suck. I'm keeping my eye out for new housing as my lease ends on March 1. I like my apartment and some of my neighbors, but I think I would like more space, even if it meant more roommates. They will have to be spider-friendly roommates.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Library of Congress Has a Flickr Account

DCist used one of the Library of Congress' photographs as their photo of the day for today. This is a pretty damn neat idea and there are already more than 3000 photos online. I thought this picture of a woman inspecting widgets was pretty. The Library is a wonderful resource that I had never used until my current job. It is a lot like all the wonderful free museums that I rarely visit in town.

I did spend a lovely day yesterday strolling through the National Gallery of Art. I wish I had every Wednesday off to wander at my own pace and absorb centuries of art. The Edward Hopper show is great and leaving town soon, so check that out before it leaves.

I was also able to check a new-ish set of exhibits at the Air and Space Museum, which I thought was the Aaron Space Museum until I was twelve. The have a neat section devoted to the history of commercial flight. I got to ride in a simulator and turn do some barrel rolls and not throw up. Hanging upside-down and attempting to maintain a missile lock is damn hard.

Thanks for inviting me to enjoy the art with you, Social Security Administion. You know who you are.

X-Files Movie Still

As a devoted fan who dropped this series like a bad habit when it went off into the mushroom fantasy land, I am barely interested in this. Gillian Anderson still has my heart and I want it back. It's nice to see the agents exploring their wardrobes but unless this movie is really cool and features a beach scene, I doubt I'll care about what they're wearing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Liveblogging A Daily Show Interview with Jonah "Pantload" Goldberg

Jonah: I iz a liar.
Jon Stewart: You're a cobag and actively hurting America.
Jonah: I iz a rhetorician.
Jon Stewart: Your kind killed Socrates, cobag.
Jonah: I iz kinda lazy.
Jon Stewart: Progressive does not mean racist.
Jonah: I iz a lying, lazy rhetorician who writed a stupid book that pays no attention to factz because I not like reading. Can I haz a cheezburger nao?
Jon Stewart: Shaking your hand is not an excusal of your rampant cobaggery.

And now I go back to not watching television in solidarity with the writers.

Addendum: I kinda wish I was working at a video store and Jonah Goldberg wandered in looking to rent some porn. Of course, his idea of porn is probably something like this, so...

"Free Market Classical Liberalism"...what the fuck? He is just sitting there saying, "Don't call me a fascist because I don't like being called a word that I don't know and won't look up."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

You're Doing It Wrong

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull keeps sneaking little glances out for those who are looking. Here is a picture of Indy and folks looking at something marvelous, except for Shia Lebouf who is busy staring at Meganfoxatron. She is so hot, an afterimage of her leaning over Bumblebee's engine was burned into his retinas. And mine, for that matter. DAMN!

Ahem. Some of you might know that I studied anthropology in college, when I wasn't busy flunking computer science courses or scraping out passing grades in philosophy through sheer charm and wit, and I can safely say that this makes me some kind of expert in some forms of pottery. I am fairly certain, I will be checking my text books, that those are most definitely not Mayan or Aztec styles in those brass? gold? pots in that picture. The arch isn't bad and the alligators or whatever aren't too off either, but those urn-thingies are far too Greek. I'm sorry but you're going to have to fix that and reshoot the entire sequence, Spielberg.

Review of Juno

Well, I was going to post this on Reviews N Stuff, but that satellite of Well Rounded Nerds seems to have gone away for the time being. I'll repost this over there, once it comes back up.

I read somewhere on CHUD that Juno is the movie that Little Miss Sunshine really wanted to be. It's earnest, clever, funny and authentically emotional in the same way that LMS was but Ellen Page1 pulls off something that everyone in LMS wasn't quite able to do, except maybe Allen Arkin. If LMS had come out this summer, it would have had Michael Cera in it, too. In case you've been living in Tora Bora and been too busy YouTubing yourself, Juno is a story about a stupendously hip high school girl who gets all with child.

The dialogue is snappy, slick, funny and trendy, almost too trendy. The first five minutes of the film worried me because everything the people were saying was a perfect example of cool for the Oughts. Listening to this was like watching The Breakfast Club for the first time again and thinking, "Damn, I don't think I'll ever be able to say any of this and I'm okay with that." I think Diablo Cody went to the same high school as Happy Harry Hard-On in Pump Up the Volume and has lived in every cool kid movie since. Or maybe she only ever hangs out with people who say "wizard" and "boss" ironically so often that they've gone from being ironic to being moronic. It's funny how one little phoneme can make all the difference.

Despite this grating early segment2, Juno quickly moves into funny and emotional scenes that never stoop to hystrionics or cheap jokes. Juno's matter of fact style was a little odd and at times she seemed more like a 27 year-old hipster than a 17 year-old student but it worked anyway. The scenes with her family were foundation enough for this character that the rest of the movie felt genuine. I particularly enjoyed the transformation of Jennifer Garner's character.

J.K. Simmons was damn convincing in some ways but I was surprised that he wasn't angry at any point. Maybe that would have been a little too trope-y but the uber-understanding father is the new thing with which generations of writers are familiar. Maybe this is some sort of generational thing with fathers, one generation is permanently pissed, the next is absent, the following is supportive and then the next is cybergenic. Michael Cera was essentially window dressing except for a couple scenes but the movie isn't titled "Bleeker." Jason Bateman was just right.

I think movies like Juno both hit and miss when you watch them and think, "Shit, everyone is cool and supportive or loving and generally awesome that I would love to be a pregnant teenager in this world!" It is fun to watch and you don't feel pandered to but it's a little too much better than life could ever be. Maybe that's the point though. A scene featuring some couples auditioning for the baby would probably have sunk deep into cheap laugh territory and an angry dad scene would not have fit with the rest of that character's scenes.

If I had managed to get this posted back in December when I saw the movie, I'd be telling you to go see it before your cool friends tell you to go see it.

1 Honestly? I'm still frightened of Ellen Page after Hard Candy.

2 What the fuck is up with Rainn Wilson? Is he her friend or buddy or something? Who the fuck talks like that to some random teenagers at the corner store? I guess they were friends or something before but it makes no sense and you never see him again and feels like some producer was like "I COMMAND THAT YOU MAKE ME LAUGH MORE. BRING IN SOMEONE FROM THE OFFICE OR SOMETHING."

That Tears It

I can no longer live without seeing ItNotK:aDST. I am changing my plans and seeing this tonight at 7:10 at the Courthouse theater. I know that this means trekking into Virginia but nothing could impede my enjoyment of this movie. Will Sanderson, I wish I had even vaster internet fame because I would love to interview you about working with the Master. I don't want to interview the master himself because he knows how to box, not that any interview I would conduct with Mr. Sanderson would end in violence.

ADDED on Tuesday, Jan. 15th: I wish I had thought of this review style first. I did one of these for Red Dawn a while back, but don't want to look like a choad for self-linkage.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Musclehead: Still a Huge Dipshit.

He's still a cobag, but that is not new. Kevin McCullough makes it pretty clear in his oh-so-cleverly named post that he really just doesn't give a fuck about free expression or raising his own children:

"I hear the libertarian Ron Paul's answer already, "Government has no business censoring freedom of expression." Figures, he's a libertarian."

Don't want your kids playing Mass Effect? Don't buy them a $400 (or whatever an XBOX 360 costs these days) game system. I don't really find this to be a great argument against his pathetic whining that other people included an alien sex scenes in a video games (I wonder what he thought of Aliens VS Predator: Requiem?) but it ought to be said that no one is forcing him or his son to play this game. A point of information: according to our Constitution, Musclehead Moron, our government shall not abridge the freedom of speech. Figures, he's a radio host.

"With it's 'over the net' capabilities virtual orgasmic rape is just the push of a button away."

Dude, check out 4chan. Rape-porn is already a click away and free. I personally find it fucking horrible and vile and would like to beat the jerk who rickrolled me on that one, but I still acknowledge that I clicked a link I felt to be suspect and will never go back there again. That does not mean that I want to destroy that site, but it does definitely mean that I would have a long talk with my hypothetical spawn should I find her/him looking at porn of any kind.

Another point that hides below the surface of his post is Kevin's complete disinterest in his son's life until he notices something he doesn't like. I think you spend too much time talking and not enough time listening, Kev-bo. Parenting is not just signing checks and buying shit.

"Yes there will be many snickers that I decided to bring this issue up in the Presidential cycle of 2008 but how refreshing would it be for a President to prove to the nation that his own manhood was not in question and put his pen and signature to a bill that dealt with such simulated sex excess in a way that was punitive to its creators to such a degree that they would never recover from it?"

I think Kevin is demanding that the candidates run around chili-whipping and cock-slapping Bioware employees until they submit to some sort of morality review board. I guess someone had to pick up Jeff Goldstein's slack.

UPDATE 1/17/07: Penny Arcade does it again. Tycho and Gabe make excellent points. I probably should stick to a policy of ignoring hacks and shills like McCullough, but I'm not famous like they are, so I'll keep bashing these idiots when I feel like it. Or when I stumble upon a deliciously stupid piece like this one.

And now for something almost exactly the same...

I have been waiting to buy some RiffTrax since hearing about it from dontEATnachos a while back. There are now quite a few available and I already own several of the movies for which there are tracks, so I am going to buy a couple after I figure out my finances for the month.

I was also just informed of a similar venture being run by Joel Hodgson, Cinematic Titanic. And now I must find room in my 'budget' for this, too.

I use scary quotes here because my financial life has nothing remotely similar to a budget, wherein a person decides how to spend their money in a careful and deliberated manner, and also because my financial situation is frigging scary to anyone with any experience with money. Even a 16 year old kid with a paper route and no expenses would be scared shitless by my operating budget.

Pinko's Musical Debut

Pitchfork would give this rap a rating of "Needs more Timberlake or Meh-thod Man."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Forgotten Post

I forgot why I opened a blank post. Oh well, let me list some of the developing stories Chuckles and Company is working on for the eleven o'clock broadcast:
Top Nine Albums of 2007 (really just a list of albums I bought since I only bought nine)
Review of Juno
Review of Aliens V Predator: Requiem
List of Movies a Person Should Watch (really just a reference list for someone)
Discussion of Uwe Boll (neither agent of the apocalypse or Ed Wood reincarnated but as a cinematic genius)
Review of In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Movie (Can't Frigging Wait)
The Return of Western Thought Wednesday (as demanded by a Girl Like Me and Unknown Fashion/Costume Designer Friend of the Genius)
Grand Opening of New Memberships for Friends of the Genius (at new 2008 rates!)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Frigging Love Uwe Boll

The more I learn about him, the more I love him. I present a link dump that sumarizes all of the reasons I love Uwe Boll:
Something Awful: Behind the scenes on the Alone in the Dark scriptwriting process
CHUD Forums thread on In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Movie by Uwe Boll
International Trailer for same
Wired critics berated for trashing Postal
Wired article about Boll's bellicose beating of beraters

News Analysis: The You All Suck Edition

I was doing some research for work a couple weeks ago and saw this headline at Time, "Obama's Foreign Policy Problem."

That is pretty negative. A problem is bad, it weighs on you and interrupts your thinking, disturbs your calm. Look at the picture, Obama looks so concerned, pensive, and probably worried about his problem. A problem is something that takes you below the baseline and beating it only returns you to average. A challenge is different. A challenge is something that is overcome and you are a better person for taking it on. A challenge is something that you meet and defeat that maybe other people can't. Why wasn't the headline "Obama's Foreign Policy Challenge." Obama is going above the average citizen and accepting the challenging responsibilities of the presidency but the author went with problem instead of challenge. Go back and read the title as "Obama's Foreign Policy Challenge" and the picture looks resolute, thoughtful and ready for the responsibility.

The New York Times is saying that Hillary Clinton "escaped" something in New Hampshire. That is another negative word. Escaped sounds like she deserved to lose the primary and pulled some sort of stunt to whisk herself away from the jaws of just defeat. Furthermore, the entire headline makes it sound like she turned tail and ran shortly before total annihilation at the hands of her enemies. She won the primary. This kind of language is negative and minimizing of her accomplishment.

Emotional. Passionate. Two words with similar meanings but different connotations. One describes a person as ruled by feelings and is weaker for it. The other is a person full of life and eager to express important feelings. Which one did you see more often used to describe Hillary in the last week?
"Hillary emotional": 580,000 hits
"Hillary passionate": 358,000 hits

I continue my editorial classes this semester.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Bethesda Softworks hosted a junket for Fallout 3. Goddamn, I hope this game comes out and doesn't pull a Duke Nukem Forever. Even better? Fallout 3 takes place in DC. I can't wait to visit my neighborhoods, new and old, and blast some radioactive mutants off my various lawns.

Also, Gabe at Penny Arcade hosted a different kind of cookie contest and I think we should totally sue or something. That link is full of pictures that are totally not safe for work and I recommend we sue Penny Arcade for that, too.

Breaking News in the Holiday Cookie Bake-Off 2007 Conspiracy!

Eastern Judge Admits to Bribery! Scandal! Is the Western Judge similarly loose with morals and ethics? She has yet to deny these allegations and some might exclaim that it is irresponsible to toss accusations around the internets despite having solid proof of the perptrators, but The Genius knows that it would be irresponsible NOT to allege and accuses willy-nilly and hidey-ho!

You, loyal minions, must judge these judges guilty on your own recognizance and with what meager mental faculites you can muster.

Daily Reads

Despite being a WoW addicted cobag-son-of-a-bitch, I do find time to read. In the last three weeks, I have read Gun, With Occasional Music by Johnathan Lethem and Cauldron by Jack McDevitt. I thoroughly enjoyed them both and recommend them to the same crowd. I started She Climbed Across the Table by Lethem and have read almost all of McDevitt's books already, so he better get cracking on feeding my hard science fiction jones.

I heard only recently that Robert Jordan had died in September, so all of you who bet that he would kick it before finishing the Wheel of Time series won that round.

In other not-so-light reading, check out PAPERCUT by Michael Cho.

News Round Up: The Super Depressing Shit to Start Your Week

Georgia Rule: Your allegations of fraud do not concern me.

Smells Like 2003: Not enough war in the world as it is?

Blame the Victim: Taking Karl Rove's political advice, Mr. Musharraf?

Friday, January 04, 2008

This Is Not Filler

Or maybe it is. Butterscotch Buddha on his Marzipan Throne, I have got to stop poking around in my computer's guts.

I am developing a theory about my cookie entry in the 2007 Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. I don't know how or why they were "destroyed" in the delivery system, but I suspect foul play. I am not currently able to limit my suspects

In the meantime, Shannon posted one of these on her little bloggio and I find them amusing in an XKCD-ish way. Specifically, this one here. By the way, I finally hit 70. Fuck. I hate myself sometimes. More like all the time.

I know someone who would appreciate this one. And also this rather timely one.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Up and Running

I finally got my computer up and running. I will continue with the high-functioning autisticness and jackassery later tonight.