Friday, January 30, 2009

Polish Alarm Clock now at Openfilm

Surprisingly, the good people at Openfilm have allowed the rather loathsome short "Polish Alarm Clock" to pollute their site.

Thank you, Openfilm!

Super Bowl Observations, and a Bold Prediction Regarding its Outcome

As many of you might be aware, there is a big professional sporting event being held in Tampa Florida this weekend, on "Super Bowl Sunday." Of course the event is known as "The Super Bowl," in which two teams of padded, sweaty men with brain problems meet on the field of battle, to throw their balls around and hit one another. It is the most popular time of the year for professional sporting enthusiasts, of which I number myself as, if not the greatest enthusiast of all, then certainly in the top 50 or 60 thousand. In fact, I am so excited about the Arizona team's appearance in this event that I often have trouble forming proper sentences.

That is why I was particularly inspired by this story of a sign created by something called The Tampa Downtown Partnership, which featured the grammatically incorrect message "Welcome to Downtown Tampa: There's so many reasons to love it." The error wasn't caught until the sign was already hung at a place of honor at Franklin and Platt streets near Channelside Drive (oh, how well I know the area!), and so

Super Bowl visitors heading downtown next week will be greeted by this grammatically correct message: "Welcome to Downtown Tampa … so many reasons to love it."
Christine Burdick, president of the partnership, said this week that the group ultimately decided to retrofit it with grammatically correct wording.

(Obviously I don't need to point out to my readers that the "corrected" sign is still grammatically incorrect- just look at that glaring use of the subjunctive! But, alas, no one can be as smart as me and my readers, so let's just keep this to ourselves, okay?)

Problem solved, and now we can move beyond the painful distraction of "grammargate" and get down to the nitty gritty of deciding which team of large, sweaty men will complete the most "scoring drives" to deliver the "W" ("win").

First of all, I think it's safe to say that we're all going to be winners, thanks to the National Football League's (the group sponsoring the sporting event) decision to have a "green" Super Bowl.

In order to offset the game’s carbon impact, the NFL (with help from the U.S. Forest Service and the Florida Division of Forestry) is planting 2,700 trees at a dozen sites in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
Leftover prepared food will also be donated to local charities and churches. Building materials, decoration, office equipment and supplies used to prepare for the game will also be donated to nonprofits to use or sell for cash.

Planting some trees and giving poor people trash to eat is a very good thing, indeed.

Now, on to some slightly more serious matters: The game between the Arizona footballers, and their Pennsylvania counterparts. First of all, the Pennsylvania team, "The Steelers," has a long Super Bowl tradition, having won several already. The Arizona team, "Cardinals," have never appeared in "the big game" before. So on the surface, it would appear that the Pennsylvanians have the advantage. However, past performance is no indicator of future performance, so I think it's fair to say that tradition will have little impact on this game. Advantage: Neither team.

It is my understanding that football games can end in a tie score, and I think it's entirely possible that this game will end in that way. (According to the list I've linked to above, it appears that both the Pennsylvania and Arizona teams have each been involved in two tie games in their histories. But, as I've already said, past performance is not indicator.) However, the football league has a rule that makes it very difficult for "playoff" or "Super Bowl" games to end in a tie, so that seems almost impossible.

Therefore, I think that it will come down to the importance of "the secondary," and I expect the high-flying Arizona team to pull off the big upset, 100-0. The embarrassment of the Steelers will be so great that Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt will be fired for "running up the score" and leaving Kurt Warner in the game through the middle of the fourth quarter. Then the Steelers will get to make appearances on Good Morning America and be treated as heroes for losing so badly. And again, in that case, we "all" win.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why Doesn't the Federal Government Want Me to Drink Milk?

According to this story,

The magnitude of the spending bill, and its urgency, drew a swarm of lobbyists seeking money and tax breaks. The concrete and asphalt industries battled over how the government should spend billions proposed for road and bridge repairs, while dairy and beef cattle producers butted heads over talk that the government might buy up dairy cattle for slaughter to drive up depressed milk prices. Unions backed infrastructure spending. States sought budget bailouts.

With unemployment rising and people at risk for losing their homes and all the other "crisis" or "crises" going on, the government wants to make milk more expensive? Milk, which supposedly does a body good? That milk?

Geezus, how can anyone be in favor of this "stimulus" nonsense? It's enough to make me want to watch a not safe for work film clip.

The Top Valentine's Day Cards of 2009

Here are the top Valentine's Day cards of 2009. It's been a strange year so far, eh?

Polish Alarm Clock

I found this truly weird little piece of animation from Poland I think, circa 1955 or possibly later, that I think some of you might enjoy. It's an examination of a spartan, austere life, and propagandizes the idea of finding the "joys of the simplest things," which is something I think we can all relate to in these difficult economic times.

Warning: It is very much not safe for work. It's possible you shouldn't even view it at all. Even though it's only about 18 seconds in length, it will haunt you. It has haunted me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another Brilliant Short Film I Did Not Make

Another good find on Openfilm, a short called "Bulletin" by someone or something called victorsolomon.

It's Time to Bail Out the Comic Book Industry

DC Comics recently announced layoffs of some employees. Monthly comic book sales continue to decline. Marvel only offered Mickey Rourke $250K to appear as a villain in the next Iron Man film, and might have lost Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury because of similar financial concerns.

Marvel has taken what's probably the highest-profile step toward asking the federal government for some of that sweet TARP scratch by making an ass-kissy comic book featuring Spider-Man "teaming up" with the current president. But I can't imagine this will be the last. Expect to see Wolverine with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton with Wonder Woman, and Timothy Geithner with Aquaman.

The comic book industry, in particular Marvel and DC, are too important to American pop culture to be allowed to fail. Think of the damage to the psyches of our youth if their favorite heroes, Spider-Man and Superman, are forced out of business. The kids need the hope for the future provided by comic books, no matter how empty that hope might be. The die-hard fans need something to bitch about on message boards and blogs. And of course we cannot forget the intrepid freelancers who give so much of themselves to these characters they don't even own.

President Obama, do your civic duty! Save the comic book industry!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Only Academy Awards Nominations Commentary You Will Ever Need

The Academy Award nominations were just released today, and perhaps the biggest surprise is that they are actually going ahead with the ceremony (or, as I prefer to call it, the "cerephony") at all. With people losing their jobs left and right, foreclosures at an all-time high, and an ongoing war on terror, holding the cerephony is a little like being at the funeral of a beloved grandfather (probably affectionately known as "grandpa" or "pop-pop") only to have your retarded cousin walk in and pass out flyers advertising his "one man show" at the parks and rec department auditorium the following weekend.

I am trying to say that this is a direct insult to all of us normal people, who are suffering right now. It fills me with righteous indignation of a political nature. Nevertheless, I will attempt to offer some impartial commentary on this year's big nominees.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Butt-Hole is the story of a mentally challenged man who ages backward. He has a bunch of adventures, one of which involves appearing in a film that is so long that it causes the audience to age approximately three hours or so. It is a loving paean to Forrest Gump.

Malnourished Millionaire is the story of a malnourished mentally challenged Indian kid who discovers the only way he can make it in the world is to win money on a white western European game show. It is a loving paean to imperialism.

Frosting Nixon is the story of some interviews that mentally challenged former president did with this British guy. Supposedly in the movie the British guy (who might have been mentally challenged in real life but is played straight in the film) gets Nixon drunk and then Nixon confesses to all the bad stuff he did. In reality Nixon never touched a drop of alcohol in his life. It is a loving paean to the power of the press, which is so powerful.

Malted Milk Balls is the story of the first openly gay person ever to become a politician, because we all know how important politicians are. To my knowledge, Malted Milk was never mentally challenged, but Sean Penn is a master actor, and so he tried to stretch himself by playing him that way. This movie is a loving paean to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ability to forgive itself for not giving an Academy Award to Brokenback Mountain, which should have won over Trash a few years ago.

The Reeder is the story of an illiterate, mentally challenged woman who accidentally became a Nazi, because she couldn't read. This kid she sleeps with tries to teach her to read American novels, but because she's a German Nazi and can't understand English, it gets nowhere, so she ends up joining the Nazis and helping to run concentration camps. She's confused, because she doesn't understand what "concentration" means. It is a loving paean to the power of movies about illiteracy to combat the evils of Naziism.

Dolt is the story of a mentally challenged dog who thinks he is the hero of the film, and has a bunch of super powers, but in fact he is really John Travolta. It is a loving paean to dogs.

Kung Pao Panda Express is the story of a panda who knows jiu-jitsu and karate and other forms of martial arts, who opens a Chinese fast-food restaurant in Westwood. He becomes a huge success. It is a loving paean to the power of obese pandas.

is the story of a lovable robot employee from Wall-Mart who keeps working even after the entire world has been despoiled by his employers. It is a loving paean to the importance of continuing to work long after you've discovered your employers is despoiling the world.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Will Whoever Designed the "Battlestar Galactica" Flash Ad on Yahoo's Main Page Learn to Spell? Or at least learn to use a dictionary?

Right now this very minute, there is a flash ad on yahoo's main page advertising the return of one of the best shows on television, Battlestar Galactica. Obviously, the show's talented writers had nothing to do with the writing of said ad, because it features a rather glaring misspelling:

I'm sure you're smart enough to catch that homophone in the third frame.

Tom Hanks is Wrong

On Wednesday night, there was a premiere party for the third season of "Big Love" (which is an awesome show and I can't wait for Sunday night), at which Tom Hanks is reported to have said,

“The truth is this takes place in Utah, the truth is these people are some bizarre offshoot of the Mormon Church, and the truth is a lot of Mormons gave a lot of money to the church to make Prop-8 happen,” he told Tarts. “There are a lot of people who feel that is un-American, and I am one of them. I do not like to see any discrimination codified on any piece of paper, any of the 50 states in America, but here's what happens now."

The United States has a long, rich history of preventing one group of people from doing something that others are allowed to do, going all the way back to the Constitution. The government has made a lot of deals with Native Americans that were then ignored and broken.

Today a lot of states have lotteries that are run by their governments. But private lotteries are mostly outlawed. And of course, police are allowed to break into people's homes all the time. When private citizens do that, they get arrested. Certain groups also have tax-exempt status.

My point is, there are two different sets of rules for all kinds of people. So, as much as I admire Mr Hanks' service in "Saving Private Ryan," I have to respectfully disagree with him. Prop 8 might be wrong, but it is hardly "un-American."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Cold Crazies

"The Cold Crazies" is an actual for-real medical condition that occurs when you get so cold that you go crazy. As much of the United States is suffering through record-low temperatures, expect to see a rise in totally cold-related crazy activities, such as freezing brains, jumping naked into snow drifts, and burning your own hair to keep warm. And if that's not enough to scare you, consider this: Some people think we're on the cusp of the verge of entering a new ice age. Don't say I didn't try to warn you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Some Possible Jobs For George W Bush When He Is No Longer President

Soon, George W Bush will leave the presidency, presumably forever. What kind of jobs are waiting for him post-presidency? (Surely someone so dynamic won't simply "retire".) I put together some plausible possibilities, inspired by George W Bush quotes taken from this website, as well as this one.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Re: Impeachment of Rod Blagojevich, and Why He Deserves an Apology from the Illinois House

The Illinois House voted to impeach the governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, by a 114-1 margin. According to the article, legislators were scandalized- scandalized, I tell you!- by the governor's... ambition:

Legislators accused the second-term Democratic governor of letting down the people of Illinois by letting ego and ambition drive his decisions.

Good night, if that's the excuse for impeaching this guy, then shouldn't all politicians be impeached? Is there any politician anywhere who doesn't let ego and ambition drive his decisions?

Another question I have is, why on earth does the governor of a state get to just appoint someone, anyone to take over a vacant US Senate seat? That is a lot of power for one person to have. Why isn't there an election to fill an elective office, for crying out loud?

“There’s one choice. It’s the one the governor will make. And in the end everybody will understand that,” he said.

Recalling a statement by Bill Klem, the legendary baseball umpire, the governor added, “ ‘It ain’t nothin’ till I calls it.’ And that’s how I’m telling you. Pass that along to any of these excited people who think they’re going to influence me.”

That's from the NY Times article on David Paterson's Senate pick. Sounds like he's gotten pretty arrogant and power-mad to me. And why the hell not? He's got too much power!

Moreover, all Blagojevich wanted was something of value for a very valuable commodity. The last person who held the position that Blagojevich is filling became the mothereffing president. Is what he did any different than appointing someone who might help him shore up his popularity with certain constituents?

Rod Blagojevich is a big corrupt jerk, but what do you expect from a system that is set up to reward corrupt jerks? He was just doing what he's always done, what got him to his position of power. To the members of the Illinois House I say, "Stop being so hypocritical and apologize to Governor Blagojevich right now."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obama's Definition of "Change"

When you're in a financial "crisis," you identify exactly what got you into said crisis, and then you keep doing exactly what got you into said crisis. That's real, bold change.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Brilliant Short Film I Did Not Make

"Carol Channing's Bad Dream" by RoyCaligula will give you sweet dreams- it is totally, hilariously demented and insane. If only I had seen it when it was first uploaded on Openfilm, it would have made my "Best of 2008" list. Now, sadly, it is in limbo, because my "Best of 2008" list is already etched in stone.

As the French say- "Oh well!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Flash- The Fastest Man Alive, or the Biggest Hypocrite?

He's both! At least, the "Police Scientist" Barry Allen version. Check these incriminating panels:

The Flash issue 280 page 3

Catch that? It might be too subtle for most readers, but I spotted the hypocrisy immediately. The Flash, a policeman, is not arresting those men for carrying unregistered firearms! That, and he's a costumed vigilante telling the hoi polloi not to act as vigilantes. Hypocrite!

The Flash issue 281 page 6

Here the Flash, the fastest man alive, rushes one of his policeman buddies to the emergency room. After noting that his friend's injuries are not life-threatening, he insists that the doctors move his friend to the head of the line, ahead of all the starving children without medical insurance, for whom the emergency room is the only real medical care they receive. Sorry about that last sentence, it was a bit awkward, but I don't mind telling you that the breathtaking hypocrisy in this panel makes me almost totally insensible. Hypocrite!

The Flash issue 282 page 5

Barry "Flash" Allen's "beloved" wife Iris has been brutally and horrifically murdered. The Flash is attempting to discover who committed this heinous act when it suddenly occurs to him- a mere seven issues after his wife's death (in the classic Flash #275)- that he has a treadmill that allows him to harness his superspeed powers to travel through time! And what is his first thought? Maybe to travel back in time to just before the murder and prevent it? No, not at all! The hypocrite Barry "Flash" Allen would rather solve the mystery of who killed his wife than actually prevent the murder from occurring. Hypocrite!

The Flash issue 294 page 12

This one is kind of convoluted. A race of supersmart apes lives amongst the humans, even having representatives in New York, as members of the United Nations. Well, their leaders have decided that they don't like the humans' influence on them (disco dancing and television shows have left them slightly stupider than they were before they started associating with us- what an indictment of humanity!, by the way), so they have decided to create a device that will manipulate the minds of every single human being on earth, causing them to forget that the supersmart apes even exist! Flash is only reassured about this plan after one of the supersmart apes tells him that his, The Flash's, brain won't be altered in any way. Well okay then go ahead. So nothing can go wrong with this plan to manipulate the minds of everyone on earth, right? Except, as the last panel suggests, the evil Gorilla Grodd has escaped from his cell and is about to wreak havoc- and there just happens to be a machine that can manipulate the minds of everyone on earth! Well, at least The Flash is safe, right?

Say it with me: Hypocrite!

"Paranormal Cops"- Will Being In "Law Enforcement" Give These "Ghost Chasers" "Credibility"?

According to this article at The Live Feed, A&E is debasing itself with another "paranormal investigation" show, "Paranormal Cops":

"Paranormal Cops" will feature a group of Chicago police officers who moonlight as ghost chasers at night. Given the team's law enforcement credentials, the concept seeks to add a new layer of credibility to a genre which has featured ghost hunting teams founded by professional plumbers, college students and academics.

Yeah, the problem with those other ghost hunting shows is that they featured teams of plumbers, college students, and "academics". What they really need for credibility is to have the team consist of members of one of the most corrupt police forces in America.

Looking for more information, I got this, the actual A&E press release, from The Futon Critic.

"Paranormal Cops" follows a group of larger-than-life cops who walk one beat during the day as real-life Chicago-area police officers and another at night when they apply their forensic and investigative expertise to paranormal casework. Responding to the pleas of ordinary people who are victimized by distressing and inexplicable activities in their homes and workplaces, as well as taking cases from their day jobs when called upon, these cops bring their no-nonsense approach to hunting ghosts and real-life police skills to separate the fact from fiction and often happen upon results much scarier than the paranormal.

Which says "Chicago area," so maybe the cops aren't from Chicago? One would think that actual Chicago cops would be too busy investigating real crimes, and committing them (see links above) (allegedly) to spend it "investigating" "inexplicable activities in their homes and workplaces."

How are these guys going to "apply their forensic and investigative expertise to paranormal casework"? Are they going to bring their EMF Detectors, or will they be dusting for fingerprints? Why didn't the other ghost hunters, who have been hunting ghosts for decades, think of dusting for mothereffing fingerprints? Maybe they can use a mass spectrometer to measure the temperature drops in haunted houses.

Yeah, finally, these "larger-than-life" "Chicago area" cops are going to get to the bottom of all this paranormal stuff.

You're a Whole Different Person When You're Scared

I get the Living Waters email newsletter from Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Usually it's just the type of stuff you expect, but every so often they send something that is brutally honest:

It's 2009 and experts are full of doom about what lies ahead. However, there is one huge consolation about a bad economy. History shows that people go back to church in a depression. So in that sense we are excited about the future, although we want people to go one step further, and join the Church.

People are afraid of losing their jobs, mounting debt, house payments, inflation, etc, and the Way of the Master people see this as an opportunity to pull people into their web. Because, you see, they want to help people deal with these trying times. By putting their trust in you-know-who and joining "the church." You know, the correct one. Theirs.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but do you think it's possible that George W Bush, who has said that the "political philosopher or thinker he identified with the most" was Jesus Christ, deliberately ran up debt and expanded the government in an attempt to create a depression that would cause more people to go back to church? Like I said, I'm no conspiracy theorist, but the obvious, unavoidable conclusion is "I don't know."

I swiped the title of this post from the Warren Zevon song.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Daisy California Battles the Menace of Nuketard

Five year-old superhero Daisy California battles her arch-nemesis Nuketard- with the fate of her uncle at stake.

Made in collaboration with my five year-old niece.

Here it is at Funny or Die:

Here it is at YouTube:

The greatest animated film of 2009!

Update slightly later in the day (@ noon or so):
Here it is on Openfilm:

With three venues, there's really no excuse not to watch this thing.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Best Film of 2008

Inspirational and uplifting. Even the video game version is fun. But why has it taken so long for anyone to throw a shoe at the president? With just two shoes, one lone Iraqi journalist has not only made a statement about the president, but also about the sorry state of journalism in the United States. Why is it that the reporters in America waited until Bush's popularity was down around 25% to start questioning this guy? Why does he still have the power to just do whatever the hell he wants with the "bailouts" and etc? Where is Congress?

Presidents should be dodging shoes all the time. All politicians should.

Anyway, this brief clip is my choice for the best film of 2008.

Second choice, because this is my blog:

Third choice is Wall-E:

Come On, Fanboys! Let's Boycott the new "Watchmen" Movie!

Warner Bros was recently found to have violated some kind of ownership rights of Fox regarding the soon-to-be-released film “Watchmen.” Apparently, someone at Warners didn’t do his/her due diligence and didn’t realize that the producer of the film, Lawrence Gordon, had had some deal with Fox, and said deal was never fully and legally ended. Now that the movie has been made, Fox has asserted its rights under said deal, and is looking for a piece of “Watchmen,” in the form of money or distribution rights.

“Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said.

Warner Bros, in a fit of righteous indignation, has vowed to fight this “unfair” claim.

"We continue to believe that Fox's claims have no merit and that we will ultimately prevail, whether at trial or in the Court of Appeals. We have no plans to move the release date of the film."

WB has always been on the cutting edge of copyright abuse, as Groucho Marx could have told you way back in 1946, when they tried to get him to change the title of his film “A Night in Casablanca,” because it was too close to the title of WB’s film “Casablanca”:

Apparently there is more than one way of conquering a city and holding it as your own. For example, up to the time that we contemplated making this picture, I had no idea that the city of Casablanca belonged exclusively to Warner Brothers. However, it was only a few days after our announcement appeared that we received your long, ominous legal document warning us not to use the name Casablanca.

More recently, WB sought to protect the vulnerable "Harry Potter" franchise by going after some producers in India who were making a parody version called "Harri Puttar- A Comedy of Terrors".

"Warner Bros values and protects intellectual property rights. However, it is our policy not to discuss publicly the details of any ongoing litigation."

Stunningly, and in a real setback for intellectual property rights everywhere, the case was dismissed.

Time Warner is such a fan of intellectual property that they paid a producer $17 million before releasing their movie version of the old television show "The Dukes of Hazzard."

Movie studio bosses at Warner Brothers have settled with a Georgia producer after he claimed they'd infringed on the copyright to his 1974 movie, which was the basis for the DUKES OF HAZZARD TV series and new film.

Time Warner so values intellectual property that it's been doing everything it can to ensure the heirs of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster- creators of Superman- don't have any claim on the Superman character.

A federal judge here on Wednesday ruled that the heirs of Jerome Siegel — who 70 years ago sold the rights to the action hero he created with Joseph Shuster to Detective Comics for $130 — were entitled to claim a share of the United States copyright to the character. The ruling left intact Time Warner’s international rights to the character, which it has long owned through its DC Comics unit.

And it reserved for trial questions over how much the company may owe the Siegel heirs for use of the character since 1999, when their ownership is deemed to have been restored.

If the ruling survives a Time Warner legal challenge, it may also open the door to a similar reversion of rights to the estate of Mr. Shuster in 2013. That would give heirs of the two creators control over use of their lucrative character until at least 2033 — and perhaps longer, if Congress once again extends copyright terms — according to Marc Toberoff, a lawyer who represents the Siegels and the Shuster estate.

And they're still fighting over "Superboy," too. Because intellectual property is that important to them.

It's one of the saddest tales in copyright history—two teenagers created one of the most popular characters of all time and sold the rights for $130. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster spent the rest of their lives trying to get back the rights to Superman and share in the enormous profits of their creation.

Both went through periods of extreme poverty. Shuster died blind and alone. Siegel went to court twice, in 1947 and 1973, to try to get back his share of the copyright. The 1973 lawsuit ended in defeat, with the bizarre decision—corrected on appeal but with no repercussions—that Superman was created as work-for-hire, when all the evidence was to the contrary. But the 1947 decision, which also involved the character Superboy, established precedents that have led to Siegel's heirs at last regaining the copyright to Superboy.

And of course, once DC lost the Superboy decision, they did the mature, intellectual-property-is-important-to-us thing and turned Superboy into a deranged killer in "Infinite Crisis."

So of course the fans of comics must be seething over the injustices done to-- Warner Bros!

20th Century Fox is putting the Watchmen movie in jeopardy by suing Warner Bros. over copyright infringment. It's over some nit-picky legalistic crap over who held the rights when it was purchased by WB. Obviously, since the movie is getting good hype now, Fox is just trying to cash in. Show Fox what you think by joining this petition.

Scheduled to release next year, Fox is trying claim rights even after sitting back and allowing WB to pour time, money, and talent into. Now, after an abysmal summer for Fox, they are reaching out to try and stamp out another studio's success.
I propose a boycott of all 20th Century Fox productions in protest of their detestable actions.

Did you really think fans of the greatest graphic novel of all time were just going to take your cash grab move lying flat on our backs?

I have never been one to jump on the whole "Boycott" bandwagon, but not a CHANCE will I see Wolverine in theatres now. This studio is the worst movie studio in the history of film. And as much as I am dying to see Watchmen, if the final outcome of this is greatly in Fox's favor, I'll pass on it just to say "f**k you."

It's nice to see where the fanboys' priorities lie. They care not one bit for what happened to Siegel and Shuster, or Bill Finger, or how Steve Ditko was screwed over by Marvel. No, they just want to see their movies!

So until Warner Bros gets its act together and stops using copyright law as a bludgeon to hurt others when in its best interests, and whining about the unfairness of it all when it's not in its best interests, I say- boycott "Watchmen"!

Bonus: Some sanity regarding this story can be found here, via this blog. And some reasonable advice here.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Just Got This Very Exciting Txt Msg!

Hi, I got ur numbr from my friend, I bet u can't guess who I am! haha I'm shy.. u can find me online, my page is

What exciting news! A new friend. And no, I can't guess who this person is! I bet she is a beautiful, shy young woman just looking for the right person to respond to her romantic text message. Oh, I'm thinking about her right now! Since she's shy, she probably doesn't like to go out to parties- I bet she likes to stay in and cook me foie gras and pour my port wine and watch "Cheaters" with me. She sounds perfect! I can't wait to get to her website and meet her. The fun we will have! She's probably on the pill, too. Not because she's sexually active, but because it helps her keep her cycles consistent. A lot of beautiful women who aren't sexually active take the pill for just that reason and that reason alone.

Astrology "Featured" on Yahoo's Main Page

Of course I had to click through and see what was in store for me in 2009, since astrology is so amazing and accurate. Here is what is said for "Sagittarius":

You tend to attract just about everything you want this year through your warmth and magnetic Sagittarian That said, you may also go through some great transformational shifts in 2009 as you realize that your happiness no longer depends so much on possessions, but rather on the deeper meaning associated with things symbolic of love and sharing.

The grammar is just as subliterate as the sentiment. Really, read that first sentence again. There's at least one word missing and one piece of punctuation. Moreover, anyone who knows me personally will tell yo that I am neither "warm" nor "magnetic" (although I certainly think that I am, so I guess I should score that as a "hit" for the astrologers).

Instead of controlling what's happening around you, you now have experiences that perhaps you don't understand, but in allowing new insights to come in and have a voice, the rearranging of your resources and your values gives you a sense of security and growth.

Reading this sentence was an experience that perhaps I didn't understand.

By surrendering to your higher power, you realize you don't have to struggle as much to get what you want. As you open up to the ideas and energies flowing around you, your priorities shift dramatically. And -- you'll be happy to know -- you don't need to work as hard to enjoy sensual pleasures either!

Do I get to pick which "higher power" I "surrender" to? Seems a bit wishy-washy to me- dammit, when I check my horoscope I want concrete answers.

I'm not sure what the author of this horoscope has to go through for "sensual pleasures," but mine generally come with relatively little effort. That's part of what I enjoy about the sensual pleasures.

Great opportunities arise as your explore your potential, and discover what kind of environment best serves you in your endeavors. Being in touch with this part of yourself helps you align with your higher purpose, and your drive to continue will lead to great success. Life becomes much easier when you trust that the universe will take care of you.

Indeed, life is so much easier when you let some higher power make all your decisions for you. Especially in these tough economic times with rising inflation and unemployment and debt and bailouts and world crises. I'm just going to close my eyes and wait for the universe to take care of me, while I'm losing my job and getting kicked to the curb in an eviction. That's super.

Thanks, Yahoo, you bunch of yahoos.

The Amazing Randi on astrology:

Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Green Bible Is Not So Important as the News Stories Would Have You Believe- And A Modest Proposal for yet Another Specialty Bible

There's a new version of the Bible called "The Green Bible," with environmental-themed or related passages printed in green ink.

"In every book of the Bible, there are references to the world and how we should take care of it," said Rusty Pritchard, editor of Creation Care Magazine, an eco-friendly publication for evangelicals. "When you look at it through that lens, it really jumps out at you . . . that God is calling us to care for the world around us."

The article doesn't quote any specific passages and I'm too lazy right now to trudge over to my copy of the old non-green Bible ("Words of CHRIST in red") so I can't quote the passages but I'm sure the "good book" is littered with things about how man is the steward over all creation (including animals, plants, and the women that came from man's superfluous rib), so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

But others fear the new Bible, which has been endorsed by secular groups such as the Sierra Club and the Humane Society, will mislead Christians.

Does one need to point out the irony of religious leaders worrying that religious people might be misled? Actually, maybe one does need to point that out, so I will:

Religion itself is misleading.

But there has been a growing shift in the past year or two, with evangelicals supporting environmentalism in much greater numbers, in a movement they generally call Creation Care. It is simply defined as caring for what believers say is God's creation by stopping or preventing harmful activities.

What took these people so long? Religion has traditionally done everything it could to prevent "harmful activities," such as questioning the authority of religious leaders, stifling scientific inquiry, taking the pleasure out of sex by mutilation and torture, preventing the use of medicine or contraceptive devices that could prevent the spread of dangerous diseases, and generally blocking anything that anyone finds the least bit fun.

Other signs that the Creation Care movement is gaining a broader foothold:
• A 2006 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 70 percent of evangelicals believe there is solid evidence that the Earth is getting warmer.

Yes, but 100 percent of those people believe in the existence of a supernatural force that has total power to control everything, created the earth and the universe, watches you all the time, and lives with all your dead relatives in a dictatorship known as paradise. Do you really want to listen to them?

And just how well is "The Green Bible" doing?

More than 37,000 copies have been printed. The first 25,000 sold out within just a few weeks.

Wait- they sold 25K "within just a few weeks"? 25K of a new version of the freaking Bible? The biggest selling book of all time? The book that all the Christians are forced to buy? In 2001, 77% of Americans identified themselves as "Christians." That is a hell of a lot of people, pardon my language- at least 100 million. (I'm assuming a total US population around 290 million.) The number can't have fluctuated that much- and all they could sell in the weeks around Christmas for crying out loud was a measly 25,000 copies?

Yeah, this whole "Green Bible" thing is really taking off.

Here's MY idea for a new Bible- "The Pain Bible," with the passages in which god does something horrible for no good reason highlighted in - well, how about yellow, since that's a difficult color to read against a white background. And the printing would be extra small so you have to squint to read it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pain Brothel by Jack Williams, Paramount Publishers, 1971, 192 pages, $1.95

I did exactly as told, then gasped as a foul-smelling liquid splashed against my face.

Blinking my eyes open, I looked up at a grinning Tina, who was unloading urine in my face.

“Hey, what’s the big idea?" I hollered startledly.

“I felt like pissing on you."

“Well cut it out you bitch whore. I don’t dig that action."

“You think you’re too good for my beautiful piss?" she frowned.

Pain Brothel is an exciting, sensuous expose of the fast-paced world of high priced sadomasochistic male prostitution. It tells the story of Charlie Davis, a man whose circumstances lead him away from his steady but boring career as an accountant, and into the much more titillating world of bondage and golden showers. Lots and lots of golden showers. It's an inspirational and aspirational novel that made me want to hop on the next airplane for beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada and start whipping bored housewives. Three stars.