Monday, December 19, 2005

Merry Chritma

Confession.
I am writing this from an undisclosed location.

Huh?
President Bush seems to be angry at the media for revealing that he authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens. At a recent news conference he even said, "It was a shameful act for someone to disclose this important program in a time of war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy."

Well, HE’S the guy who brought up the subject. If he doesn’t want to discuss the program, why doesn’t he just stonewall it, pretend it doesn't exist? That’s what politicians used to do.

And who is the enemy? It used to be Bin Laden (remember him?), and then it was Saddam, and then it was “insurgents,” and now it’s disgruntled Saddam supporters and foreign terrorists (we used to call them outside agitators). Are we tapping their phones?

For your Xmas consideration.
This can be yours for a million dollars:

http://cgi.ebay.com/armageddon-over-ride-translation_W0QQitemZ6585642357QQcategoryZ361QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

For those of you who prefer not to frequent eBay, let me tell you what the poster says about his offer; it is (verbatim): “writings transfered through an awaken telepathic vision of the lord. the year 2000, translated in 2004. when read unlocks all religious and scientific mysteries; a perfect program. when applied spiritualy works as biblical software to open up thought for developing cures and real time continuum. the writer carries the birth mark of the second adam! can't be published. must be purchased.”

Those are some mighty fine selling points, you’ll have to agree. Also, if you go to the photographs that illustrate this offer, you will note that the writings are framed nicely, and appear to be covered in Saran wrap.

Science at work.
From the Associated Press, re Barbie: “The iconic plastic doll is often mutilated at the hands of young girls, according to research published Monday by British academics.”

Anybody with a daughter could have told them that. Mattel’s response? “We know that there are millions of girls in the U.K. and across the world that love and enjoy playing with Barbie and will continue to do so in the future."

Any discussion of this program is only helping the enemy.

Attention Bill O’Reilly
From AP:

A group of 40 people dressed in Santa Claus costumes, many of them drunk, rampaged through New Zealand’s largest city, robbing stores and assaulting security guards, police said Sunday.

The rampage, dubbed “Santarchy” by local newspapers, began early Saturday afternoon when the men, wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes, threw beer bottles and urinated on cars from an Auckland overpass, said Auckland Central Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty.

She said the men then rushed through a central city park, overturning garbage containers, throwing bottles at passing cars and spraying graffiti on buildings.

One man climbed the mooring line of a cruise ship before being ordered down by the captain. Other Santas, objecting when the man was arrested, attacked security staff, Hegarty said.

The remaining Santas entered a downtown convenience store and carried off beer and soft drinks.

“They came in, said ’Merry Christmas’ and then helped themselves,” store owner Changa Manakynda said.

Alex Dyer, a spokesman for the group, said Santarchy was a worldwide movement designed to protest the commercialization of Christmas.

Three people were arrested and charged with drunkenness and disorderly behavior.

Movie review! Kind of!
I don’t get out to movies much any more, which is weird. I used to go to two or three movies a week. But they’re just too goddam expensive any more. Unless it’s a big screen awe-inspiring event (like KING KONG - maybe), I wait for the video/DVD.

I’m a little puzzled, however, by the blogosphere’s reaction to BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. I have no intention of seeing the movie in theatres. (Too goddam expensive.) I did read the story some years ago, and thought it was great: doomed cowboys in love- it was like a John Ford movie with I’m-not-gay-yet-strangely-gay overtones. It was moving, subversive (whatever that means), well-written, and clever.

But back to the movie. There was this, on THE BLEAT, commenting on Entertainment Weekly’s BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN story: “… that’s the sense that I got from the EW issue – not that you MUST see “Brokeback” to prove you’re not homophobic, but that you should, because it’s helpful.”

Helpful? Do you go to a movie because it might be “helpful?” And helpful to whom? The gay community? Do they get a cut of the profits? Where is the gay community anyway? Does it have a mayor?

A blog called PDX Movie of the Week (Out at the movies in Portland, Oregon) insisted (even though it didn’t like the movie that much): “Support this movie like you’re donating to a cause. Because you are. It’s a lightning rod for some parts of the Gay Civil Rights Movement.”

That kind of thing is just stupid. You don’t go see a bad movie just because it has a good message. That just encourages bad movies. Not that I’m saying BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is a bad movie. Not that I’m saying I don’t like bad movies. But bad movies that are trying to improve my morals? Never. That kind of movie only helps the enemy, whoever that is.

SLATE has actual audio conversation, on which you can eavesdrop, featuring straight people agonizing about whether they should see the movie or not. Mickey Kaus wrote: “My wild hypothesis is that more people will go see a movie if it features an actor or actress they find attractive! If heterosexual men in heartland America don't flock to see "Brokeback Mountain" it's not because they're bigoted. It's because they're heterosexual. "Heterosexuals Attracted to Members of the Opposite Sex"--for those cultural critics wondering what a commercial disappointment for this much-heralded movie will Tell Us About America Today, there's your headline. ...”

Okay. But what about LA CAGES AUX FOLLES, and all those drag queen movies America seems to love, and VICTOR/VICTORIA…?

Anyway, I look forward to inserting BROKEBACK, lovingly, into the receiving slot of my DVD player, a few months from now. My DVD player is such a little subbie, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Am having second thoughts about KING KONG. Three hours? How long does it take to re-do a story that was done to perfection (in under two hours) back in the 1930’s?

Next Christmas maybe?
From Reuters: The Web site for the National Entertainment Collectibles Association (http://www.necaonline.com) has unveiled pictures of a new John Lennon action figure that is expected to arrive in stores in the spring.

The 18-inch doll, dubbed "The New York Years" John Lennon, will utter "authentic" phrases used by Lennon, according to the Web site.

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