Sunday, March 11, 2007

Old News Blog

Old News
First, a couple tidbits I’d clipped and forgotten about.

SF Examiner April 3, 2003: And these are your social skills, on crack!
“The sting operation almost turned ugly when one suspect, armed with a six inch hunting knife, threatened to kill undercover narcotics officer John Keane. “’You better come down here right now and smoke this rock with me or I will kill you!’ suspected drug dealer Keith Lawyer screamed at Keane….”

Sunset Beacon April 2003: the secret life of plants.
This was from a story about a hearing held in San Francisco, concerning efforts to restore natural areas in San Francisco to their native habitat.

“A critic of the Natural Areas Program, Dr. Arthur Shapiro, Professor of Ecology at UC Davis, stated at this meeting: ‘The hatred of ‘exotic’ trees, some of which are California natives anyway, is not only ideological but sometimes verges on the pathological and has strong overtones of xenophobia and racism.’”

Tolerance for eucalyptus? Never!!!

This just in:
Daylight savings time does not really save daylight. The amount of daylight remains the same, no matter what we do.

I’m going to do the same thing with Michael Myers masks.
Kevin Lambert has started a movement, of sorts, in which he and his friends wear ski masks in public to dispel the mask’s association with armed robbers. He has also launched a web site, “Striving to keep America Warm By Combating Ski Mask Discrimination."

When ski masks are outlawed, only outlaws will have ski masks.

In other news.
Reuters: “Mayan leaders will spiritually ‘cleanse’ ancient ruins in Guatemala after a visit by U.S.
President George W. Bush….”

Krauthammer, on the attack!
“Scooter Libby has just been convicted of four felonies that could theoretically give him 25 years in jail for . . . what? Misstating when he first heard a certain piece of information, namely the identity of Joe Wilson's wife. Think about that. Can you remember when you first heard the name Joe Wilson or Valerie Plame?”

Why yes. It was when I was trying plant a defamatory story about Joe Wilson in the nation’s newspapers, following his claim in the New York Times that Iraq was not shopping for uranium in Niger. A Tuesday, I believe. Over lunch. At the behest of my superiors.

300 Backlash.
Dana Stevens, in Slate: “Here are just a few of the categories that are not-so-vaguely conflated with the ‘bad’ (i.e., Persian) side in the movie: black people. Brown people. Disfigured people. Gay men (not gay in the buff, homoerotic Spartan fashion, but in the effeminate Persian style). Lesbians. Disfigured lesbians. Ten-foot-tall giants with filed teeth and lobster claws. Elephants and rhinos (filthy creatures both). The Persian commander, the god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) is a towering, bald club fag with facial piercings, kohl-rimmed eyes, and a disturbing predilection for making people kneel before him.”

In other words, Mr. Stevens, Xerxes was what we call in the audience industry, “the bad guy.”

Nathan Lee, in SF Weekly: “Yet aside from the fact that Spartans come across as pinched, pinheaded gym bunnies, it's their flesh the movie worships. Not since Beau Travail has a phalanx of meatheads received such insistent ogling. As for the threat to peace, freedom, and democracy, that filthy Persian orgy looks way more fun than sitting around watching Spartans mope while their angry children slap each other around. At once homophobic and homoerotic, 300 is finally, and hilariously, just hysterical.”

Didn’t these critics ever watch a Hercules movie when they were kids? Not to mention THE 300 SPARTANS, with Richard Egan? And Ralph Richardson? “Spartans! We have reached Thermopylae. The orders are: From this wall, we do not retreat!”

Jokingly ha ha, or jokingly peculiar?
The Nevada Democratic Party today backed out of a FOX News-sponsored presidential debate after Fox President Roger Ailes's recent remarks jokingly comparing Democratic Senator Barack Obama to al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

Captain America, RIP.
Captain America was apparently assassinated in a recent comic book, causing all kinds of conservative upset, even though nobody’s actually read a Captain America comic since 1948.

Starbucks.
After the success of a novel by Mitch Albom, FOR ONE MORE DAY, Starbucks has selected for its second book, A LONG WAY GONE: MEMOIRS OF A BOY SOLDIER, by Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier in Sierra Leone. I’ll bet it’s not as heartwarming as Mitch Albom’s book.

NYT:
“What if you could one day unlock your door or access your bank account by simply ‘thinking’ your password?… A pass-thought could be anything from a snatch of song, the memory of your last birthday or even the image of your favorite painting. A more achievable alternative might present you with predetermined pictures, music or video clips, to which you would think ‘yes’ or ‘no’ while the machine monitors your brain activity.”

But what if your pass-thought is an earworm, some song stuck in your head, some song you actually hate, or what if it’s some random thought, like “My butt itches,” or “What should I have for dinner?” Or “What was the name of the red-headed girl who sat behind me in third grade? Or was it fifth grade?” You’ll get inside the house again, my friends, and your checkbook will remain forever unbalanced.

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