Friday, January 30, 2009

Hypocritical Oaths

President Barack Obama has often said one thing, and done another, both in his tireless years of campaigning and now in the White House. However, more people are starting to take notice.

Aside from the greater issues, those of philosophy and intention that can be spun and rationalized by changing moods and circumstances (such as saying government is the only hope for the economy, followed by a speech 20 days later in which the individual American worker is the only hope for the economy), Barack Obama has issued orders and suggestions to the American public about how best to live our lives and represent our nation.

The problem is he does not take his own advice, and now in power he is not the careful, studied icon of last year, but a more human figure, and humans' have weaknesses, they make mistakes. And with the press always watching, it is only a matter of time before his all-important approval numbers begin to fall.

In the spirit of bipartisanship and assistance to both Obama and his staff, here is a short list of recent things he should try to keep more low profile (maybe Rahm can mention it to Stephanopolous and Carville during their daily phone calls.)

1. "We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen." On Obama's first full day at the White House, however, he cranked up the heat in the Oval Office to 77, according to his own right hand man David Axelrod. "He's from Hawaii...he likes it warm." (He also likes serving and eating 100 dollar wagyu steaks.

2. "She's a monster," said Samantha Power about Hillary Clinton in March 2007. Obama promptly rebuked her and forced her to very publicly resign, showing his opposition to dirty politics and attack techniques. Now the Associated Press reports, as Obama personally attacks private citizens such as Limbaugh and executives who spend money without his approval, that Samanth Power has been given a senior foreign policy job at the White House where she will work closely with Secretary Clinton.

I would continue, what with the executive order banning lobbyists and the lobbyist he hired days later, Geithner's tax omissions, the claim of "bipartisan" attempts while shooting down any and all alternatives, but its rather nauseating.

If Obama truly wants to maintain his unprecedented popularity and not devolve into a rich-man's Jimmy Carter, he will plug these cracks quickly and keep reelection in the forefront of his mind. But something tells me his ego, gone unchecked for so long, does not fully permit the possibility of defeat.

Diversity is the Watchword

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell gave a speech at the Media Institute in Washington this past Wednesday, expanding the current debate of the Fairness Doctrine and addressing fears that it may be reimposed under the Obama administration.

Most notably he pointed out that those who seek to reinstate the doctrine would adapt their strategy to their recent vocal opposition, namely by rebranding it, as dictated by elementary marketing rules. He warned the Doctrine might be presented with a different name in an attempt to sneak it throughm like a school budget, and provided a few possibilities; localism, network neutrality, and diversity.

Long has it been that 'diversity' was used as a blanket liberal issue, a sweeping and emotional appeal for equality and an end to racism. However, as is often the case with liberal language, it embodies the racism that so-called progressives seem hellbent against leaving behind.

The fact that colleges and universities across the country, over the past 30 years, have been increasingly focused on creating 'diverse' student bodies is physical proof of racism. What else can you call a priority initiative whose sole purpose is to make the human landscape of a campus more multi-ethnic? To prove to visitors and photographers that, yes, we have a large amount of black kids in attendance. And when criticized that there are not enough black kids yet enrolled, scholarships are formed, student loans are reworked, and budgets are increased so that the students with GPAs and test scores that got accepted on merit alone must pay larger tuition and carry the weight (poverty is also a diverse, minority group apparently.)

Neutrality is another misleading premise. Under the lovely guise of avoiding conflict and welcoming all points of view, forced neutrality forbids dissent, which President Obama said was "the wrong side of history." Somehow adversity, which breeds discussion and compromise and creativity, has become a thing of fear, hyped up to such an anti-American status (bashing Limbaugh) that it could likely be punished by the full extent of the law....once the current government has written a few new laws that work for their party.

The fact that some debate occurs at all regarding these issues is reassuring, but it also remains true that under the guise of Democracy liberals reach out to victims and aspiring-victims alike, and directly seek to victimize others, parroting the language of tyranny to suppress those they disagree with.

Among all the tenets and systems of our government that Democrats are currently seeking to alter, the issue of free speech is the most important. Having defined our nation by it since our inception, we remain one of the few strongholds of freedom of expression in the world, as once-enlightened European nations crumble under the threat of racism accusations. The press, the government, the sweeping cult-like agreement that 'being nice' and accepting all viewpoints so long as they are focused on peace and charity no matter the cost, these things spell our doom if they are left unchecked.

So keep an eye out for their language, for their bombs of silence and proportional outrage, because Washington Republicans are fighting several battles at the moment, finally banding together but still often oblivious to the machinations of the majority, and it might be up to us in the end. Mark Steyn, Geert Wilders, Oriana Fallaci--these people spoke when they wanted about what they deemed necessary, and democratic law was used to pursue and punish them. Who will they go after next?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gore Confirms World is Flat

in the manner of Iowahawk

Former Vice-President, Chairman of the Alliance for Climate Prevention, Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, Oscar winner, Inventor of the Internet, suggested Medal of Honor nominee, potential Olympic Gold Medalist, World-Renowned Pianist if he had practiced more in high school, and upcoming Reality TV star Al Gore met today with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by the familiar sounding but unknown John Kerry (D-Mass.)

In his opening statement, Gadfly Gore seized the opportunity to jump on President Obama's stimulus bus, re-repeating the necessity for quick and decisive action.

"In order to rebuild America from the ground up, fill her coffers with solid gold, and ensure her vote as Prom Queen at the International Homecoming Dance, I urge you to flood your elected representatives and let them know that you completely agree with me.

"Never before has a bill such as this been proposed at such a historic moment by such a unique looking President. The plan is unprecedented and will be miraculously effective in several different areas; energy efficiency, renewable energy, national energy grids, fossil fuel energy, the energy to get through Atkins, robotic ocular transplants, energizer batteries, energico from the Latin, and the realistically ambitious new plan to build a solid recycled-plastic lever large enough to lift the world and move it to a part of the Solar System that does not infringe on the basic gravitational rights of our neighboring planets, as recent scientific consensus has proven.

"We can not delay. We must act in haste because by the time my next movie comes out, it will almost be too late."

In response to his opening salvo, chairman John whatever-his-name-is woke up and asked if he was finished. But the resilient Gore plowed through three more hours of fiction factual material, very occasionally utilizing gesticulation and tonal inflection to underline his most important points.

Committee member and fierce proponent of work visas for illegal immigrants, Manuel Labor had this to say:

"I hitched a long, long train ride to get here, and it turns out it's fucking freezing."

Gore's closing remarks touched upon the significance of Holocaust Memorial Day, discreetly comparing survivor stories to alien abduction tales, and finished with an urgent plea to support the stimulus plan and sign a petition that would validate his existence.

"Gracias, and remember to vote Rosa in 2012."


The past few days have seen the Republican Party, at least through the fishbowl lens of the mainstream media, begin to show signs that their balls have not been completely cut off. Quick to reverse this politically unviable image, GOP leaders resumed their fawning over Obama as he visited them to discuss the Generational Theft Act of 2009 (credit to Malkin.)

In an "engaging" and "respectful" manner, Obama raised the tone of the stimulus debate by shooting down any additional and previously promised tax cuts. His appeasement of the Girls Only Party was further illustrated by his removal of the softball contraceptive issue lobbed up by Nancy Pelosi just two days prior.

However not all Republican officials are Democrats-in-Disguise as some opposition, to both Cabinet nominations and the stimulus, has been voiced by the likes of Susan Collins, Jim DeMint, and even John McCain.

DeMint spoke strongly yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, warning that Democrats will prolong, take advantage of, and misrepresent the current economic crisis in order to pass useless legislation that has long been on their agenda. Other than Pelosi's condom initiative, the stimulus outlines such ridiculous expenditures as $245 million in tax breaks for Hollywood film studios to $75 million for "smoking cessation activities" (idiotic on its own due to Democrats' cigarette tax to fund S-CHIP universal health care.) Apparently, what the Obama campaign meant by "transparency" in government was not accountability, but a blanket executive order that no policy detail, regardless of how conspicuous and egregious a fabrication, be scrutinized or even noticed.

DeMint goes on to articulate what I believe the majority of us feel; "It's like they're in a different reality." The stimulus package is so ripe for parody that Saturday Night Live could read it verbatim and get more laughs than their original material (also true for all standard media publications.) DeMint even mentions Rush Limbaugh as one of the only existing alternatives to provoke discourse about the stimulus and its actual intentions.

While minorities are manipulated and discarded depending on the current power of the Democratic party, the Republican minority has a chance to make some serious headway in what is considered a time to rebuild the party. With no expectations of success and only the altruistic goals of saving their constituents' money and preserving the basic principles of our government, Republican officials have the opportunity to bring Conservative ideas back to Washington debates, and in doing so create much-needed leadership that will appeal to their marginalized, and ever-present conservative base.

While the junior Senator from South Carolina proves that all hope is not lost, history shows us that Republican forces must assemble to engage in tactics of strength and conviction, not diplomacy and appeasement.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No Homos in Hogwarts

Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the Harry Potter films, after inviting Sasha and Malia Obama to the set, claimed that Harry Potter "has restored the reputation of the English boarding school. It has made it something other than a hotbed of homosexuality."

I could probably find and stretch several examples from the books to prove him wrong, but I don't want to perpetuate the idea of fact-less blogging.

So I will point him to an actual fact: J.K. Rowling announced, a bit cowardly after the release of the final installment, that Albus Dumbledore was definitely a homosexual, and that she had known this throughout her writing. "Gender Studies" professors all across the world felt suddenly useful.

Gay rights group Stonewall reacted: "It shows that there's no limit to what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster."

I was not aware of the previously held belief that sexuality imposed limits upon employment opportunities, magical or otherwise. I thought incompetence did that.

But some statistics show that the wholesome, slightly-different-than-real-life fantasy of Hogwarts did increase boarding school attendance in Britain, and I'll admit that even in a Westchester public high school I longed for a magic castle to skip classes in. Which, combined with a hotbed of homosexuality, would pretty much be the perfect adolescence (hire the X-Men as faculty and its settled.)

In the secular world of Harry Potter, magic is science; teachable, but only to an elite who are born with the talent. Were the elite in our world given such power, free speech would be sealed in an ancient ornate jar, let out in drops at the gay headmaster's discretion. I expect Radcliffe's comments to affect his sizable gay fanbase, but I'm unclear as to whether they'll be insulted or turned on, though the two can probably be consolidated, as gay rights groups were both glad to hear of Dumbledore's status and disappointed it never appeared in the books.

Alas, the post-mortem outing of an old sexless eunuch is merely an example of the redundant and self-serving gay rights movement, infusing society and government with the idea that we are all inherently sexist, racist homophobes who need the objective eyes of minorities and politicians to navigate the treacherous waters of human interaction.

These days I'm having trouble seeing the distinction between magical spells and executive orders, though the public enchantment is painfully obvious.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Appropriate Money Management

Los Angeles based decorator Michael Smith was responsible for the 1.2 million dollar renovation done to the Merrill Lynch executive suite. The pricey decoration came under fire by the media after Merrill's public downfall and bailout, despite occurring before the crisis and in a completely capitalistic manner, and also incurred the criticism of President Obama.

Government should pay more attention, said Obama, to companies “that have received taxpayer assistance then going out and renovating bathrooms or offices or in other ways not managing those dollars appropriately.”

As for the decoration of the White House, the Obamas have chosen Michael Smith for the high profile job.

Yes, the same exact Michael Smith, who will supply both the designer black pots and the Swedish engineered black kettles.

The Obama-Limbaugh Bipartisan Stimulus Plan 2009

Rush is set to announce his proposal at approximately 1:15pm, in his first serious foray into the world of policy.

Tune in.

Update: Here are the details.

1. 540 billion of the proposed 1 trillion stimulus plan will be spent on infrastructure as defined by Obama and the democrats

2. The remaining 460 billion will be directed to tax cuts, as determined by Rush. consisting primarily of capital gain tax cuts and corporate tax cuts.

(numbers chosen based on Obama's election victory of 54% to 46%)

3. See which one works better and faster, and use results as template for all future recession.

Repentant? I don't know what that means has an interview with Bill Ayers in which he confesses to not being religious, opposing the war in Iraq, and not watching Fox news.

It's a real eye opener.


-John McCain is the actual terrorist, not him
-Final questions about Detroit Police bombings which Ayers doth protest a whole lot. I’m still puzzled by the unrepetent[sic] terrorist label (that dogged Ayers during the campaign).

Ayers: What does that mean? Who thinks these things up? What does that possibily mean? They’re plain English words. I think we both understand them.

Ayers: Well I’m not a religious person so repentent[sic] is a little bit hard for me. So make it unapologetic.

Send your kids to University of Illinois at Chicago today! We take vocabulary sorta seriously.


An article from the former PM, soon to be PM again. Makes you wish you could vote in other countries...would probably count more than a conservative vote in the state of NY.

Three weeks away from their elections and suddenly the entire Middle East is quaking in fear that he'll regain power. Hamas wants a year long truce written before then, Egypt wants it too, and Olmert, like Clinton and Bush, wants a legacy of peace and is aiming for some sweeping agreement before he leaves.

His brilliant offer? 1,000 Hamas prisoners released in exchange for Gilad Schalit.

It's tentatively titled the Oslo Annapolis Munich Agreement.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Genocide in Gaza

Bet you're looking for something anti-semitic. 'Fraid this is all you get.

The Jews have gone, and so have the protests.

And I thought community centers in Chicago were torture.

Whedon Wobbles But He Don't Fall Down

As a practically religious Joss Whedon fan, I am inherently excited for his new show Dollhouse and will unquestionably watch every episode that gets on the air. However my Obama-like reverence of Whedon has begun showing some cracks (the largest of which is Dr. Horrible) and my doubts continue to slowly grow as I read interviews and see media from the massive promotional campaign that now comes part and parcel with any Whedonverse creation. Here is a quote from his latest interview with Heeb magazine:

“Since Buffy [2003], we’ve taken a giant eight-year leap back into the stone age,” says Whedon. “In the 1930s everything was Rosalind Russell and Katherine Hepburn, who were very interesting to watch. These women were replaced [in films] by a dim-witted blonde with very little to offer,” he says as the conversation turns to Marilyn Monroe, whose face, ironically, is depicted on a mural just outside his office. “Television, then, became the place where women could be interesting and funny.”

It is a testament to the inevitable and unchecked growth of Whedon's ego, starting to come through in his interviews and project decisions, that he frames film and television culture by the bookends of his own Buffy. While I may happen to do the same thing, I am not the creator, nor do I agree that we have fallen so far in the characterization of women in Hollywood. It seems to me the ubiquitous actress' complaint involves the lack of roles for women over 40, in the same interview in which they extol the virtues of life and children in their middle ages. They've 'lived and learned' and now bring a maturity to their Oscar-nominated roles that they didn't have as blonde ingenues.

Yet with Whedon's new Dollhouse, certainly rife with plots and characters who might have 'a lot to offer', the premise of the series being admittedly a kind of showcase for the unseen talents of Eliza Dushku is troubling (and seems to be making her arrogant as well) . Joss is so good at what he does by now, having sharpened his own formula and style until it's a nub of a pencil, he believes he can have an actress and a title and just fill in the blanks. With a fairly unoriginal basis, my worry is that in writing Dushku's character Joss will use all the skills he
is deservedly known for to prove to the ignorant American and religious nuts that a woman can be strong, interesting, and marketable. In doing so he may lose sight of the actual humanity that has made Buffy such an enduring figure, writing a show full of actual dolls running around being victimized and mind-controlled.

Buffy got her ass-kicked plenty, and wallowed in doubt or defeat almost as often, but I never saw her as a victim. She wasn't chosen to restore women to their rightful place of respect, but to kill vampires and demons; in short, to grow up, which everyone must do, fictional or real, victim or hero.

Dollhouse premieres February 13th on Fox. Tune in, but do the whole lower-expectation thing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rush Writes Back

from NRO

Limbaugh Responds to Obama [Byron York]

According to an account in the New York Post, President Barack Obama yesterday told Republican leaders, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." With George W. Bush now off the stage, it may be that Obama and some of his fellow Democrats view Limbaugh, and not John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, or any other elected official, as the true leader of the Republican opposition. This morning I asked Rush for his thoughts on all this, and here is his response:

There are two things going on here. One prong of the Great Unifier's plan is to isolate elected Republicans from their voters and supporters by making the argument about me and not about his plan. He is hoping that these Republicans will also publicly denounce me and thus marginalize me. And who knows? Are ideological and philosophical ties enough to keep the GOP loyal to their voters? Meanwhile, the effort to foist all blame for this mess on the private sector continues unabated when most of the blame for this current debacle can be laid at the feet of the Congress and a couple of former presidents. And there is a strategic reason for this.

Secondly, here is a combo quote from the meeting:

"If we don't get this done we (the Democrats) could lose seats and I could lose re-election. But we can't let people like Rush Limbaugh stall this. That's how things don't get done in this town."

To make the argument about me instead of his plan makes sense from his perspective. Obama's plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR's New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts. It would allow a majority of American voters to guarantee no taxes for themselves going forward. It would burden the private sector and put the public sector in permanent and firm control of the economy. Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing "eternal" power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle.

Obama was angry that Merrill Lynch used $1.2 million of TARP money to remodel an executive suite. Excuse me, but didn't Merrill have to hire a decorator and contractor? Didn't they have to buy the new furnishings? What's the difference in that and Merrill loaning that money to a decorator, contractor and goods supplier to remodel Warren Buffet's office? Either way, stimulus in the private sector occurs. Are we really at the point where the bad PR of Merrill getting a redecorated office in the process is reason to smear them? How much money will the Obamas spend redecorating the White House residence? Whose money will be spent? I have no problem with the Obamas redoing the place. It is tradition. 600 private jets flown by rich Democrats flew into the Inauguration. That's fine but the auto execs using theirs is a crime? In both instances, the people on those jets arrived in Washington wanting something from Washington, not just good will.

If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of the trillion dollar debacle.

One more thing, Byron. Your publication and website have documented Obama's ties to the teachings of Saul Alinksy while he was community organizing in Chicago. Here is Rule 13 of Alinksy's Rules for Radicals:

"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

Rush Rises to the Top

President Obama was quoted during a meeting with GOP leaders in the White House to discuss the stimulus bill advising them that the path to change included dropping some excess baggage along the way.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."

Has he ever actually listened to Rush? (I sincerely hope the GOP leaders do.) Cause Limbaugh has been giving Obamacles some rather solid and consistent advice, advice he's willing to personally present no less. Advice that includes suspending the payroll tax for a couple months, doing things to encourage the usual American industriousness rather than lack thereof, and calmly enduring the recession without extending it (a la FDR.)

Using Rush's name as the euphemism for Right Wing Radical Lunacy that it has become for liberals only proves Obama's massive inexperience and obvious jitters during his early days in office. His attempts to get nods, approvals, "seriously"s and Amens, are weak and easy, as per usual, but I will take it as Rush has (deservedly) risen to greater heights of attention these past weeks than he usually did during Bush's term.

Drudge calls it a "New Media War" which it could very well be if Obama decides to sign another Sovereign--er, Executive Order that imposes the Fairness Doctrine. As for now its mostly good press, and plainly shows some impatience and mediocrity in a usually calm and nonreactive persona.

In other words, Long Live Limbaugh.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gentleman's Sport Meets Penal Colony

After Serbian Novak Djokovic beat Bosnian-born American Amer Delic in a tight four setter, a small riot took place between Serbian and Bosnian tennis fans, who celebrated the results by hurling chairs at each other.

The Australian Open, held in Melbourne, is unofficially known as the "Happy Slam." But the incident is not unfamiliar after 2007's ejection of over 150 fighting Serbian and Croatian soccer fans, and last year's pepper spraying of unruly attendees.

Another interruption, or continuation, of the day's festivities occurred when a streaker visited the doubles match being played by Venus and Serena Williams.

In related news, Roger Federer beat the tar out of Marat Safin. In the spirit of Melbourne tennis fans, he's decided to process his grief by drinking his ass off and beating someone up.

Yo-Yo Ma the Pop Star

Yo-yo Ma reaffirmed his status as the pop star of classical music with reports revealing that the classical quartet at Obama's inauguration, featuring him and Itzhak Perlman, was recorded days earlier and not actually performed.

The classical music interlude, composed by Star Wars theme creator John Williams, was one of the only pleasant moments of the boring ceremony. And even that was fake. Reports claim it was too cold to trust the instruments to stay in tune, and they wanted everything to be perfect for Obama (which doesn't explain why no one proofread Rev. Lowery's speech.) However, Aretha Franklin's voice seemed unaffected by the low temperatures, unless we were merely listening to her latest CD.

Ma and Perlman join the illustrious ranks of Ashlee Simpson and Milli Vanilli. Certainly a high point of their careers.

The Idiossey

Iowahawk translates "The Idiossey" from the Greek. Truly truly brilliant.

Not to mention hilarious. In the same vein as Gerard Butler's fantastic "He Ventured forth..." from July.

Never ran into the Muse of Doritos when I was at the Hyde Park co-op, but lo, I was not chosen.

Doctor Who Goes Bionic

It was recently announced that Michelle Ryan will be playing the Doctor's companion for at least one of four specials to be released this year, featuring David Tennant in his final stories as the Doctor.

You may known Ryan from the short-lived and disastrous attempt at remaking the Bionic Woman on NBC last season. Otherwise you would have had to see some recent British TV (such as Merlin) in order to recognize her. I didn't know she was British before now, which explains her bizarrely discomfiting American accent, but not her equally plastic overdone English one.

In short, I strongly disapprove. If she is some mysterious aristocrat (Lady Christina) for just one special, that's more than fine (I mean c'mon, I sat through Kylie Minogue acting in Doctor Who so I can handle just about anything) but if they are seriously considering her as the new constant companion of the 5th series, then Matt Smith is doomed before he begins.

With literally the entire A-list roster of British actors, and perhaps a few adventurous American ones, at their disposal, Steven Moffat and company need to be a bit more original. For instance a male companion who can hold his own and be interesting without needing to rely on sexual tension for dialogue or chemistry. They've always been fans of using past characters, so here's my suggestion; the UNIT solider from Sontaran Strategem who gets brainwashed and later reappears in Turn Left. (Clive Standen.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pugnacious Russian takes on Legendary Swiss

In the early rounds of Australian Open, generally known as uneventful rounds in most Grand Slams despite fans' hopes of upsets, both Marat Safin and Roger Federer had fairly easy victories.

Now they are set to play each other in the third round, an exciting early meeting that will be a rematch of their classic semi-final in 2005, which Safin won (9-7 in the fifth) on his way to the title.

Safin, ever the rockstar of the tennis world, known for smashing rackets more often than Gallagher punishes watermelons, showed up in Australia sporting cuts, bruises, a black eye and an injured thumb. Apparently they are the result of a fight he had in Moscow before leaving.

"I got in trouble in Moscow but it's OK, I can survive," Safin said. "Just some small problem that I wasn't in the right place at the right time."

Maintaining the image of Russian peace and sobriety, Safin went on to confirm "Yes, I won the fight." The belligerent Australian fans have taken a fancy to him. However, he may not be so lucky with Federer, who defies the neutrality of his motherland with his ceaseless ambition and desire to win. He is one grand slam title away from matching Pete Sampras' record of 14.

In related news, Rafael Nadal has forsaken his trademark muscle shirts for a more conservative t-shirt. Perhaps as new world number 1 he has adopted a more mature approach, or else during recovery from a knee injury he lost some of the massive musculature his upper arms are known for. If you'd like to watch the Australian Open, make a lot of coffee and turn on Espn2 at 330am. Or else check back here for the headlines.

New Marvel Solicitations for April

Though it is several months away, the newest batch of Marvel solicitations contains a few good-looking covers, including this first one for Dark Reign: The Cabal . The members of the group look very cool, and most importantly normal, especially after the Dark Reign one-shot in which Namor was a pudgy balding Jewish man and Emma was plain. My greatest interest in this entire story line of evil powers manipulating events behind-the-scenes lies in Emma Frost; what she hopes to gain from being part of this, what she has to do, and how it will end up. I'm strongly praying that it will be surprising and noble, as opposed to having to be confronted by Cyclops and betray her team.

The second most noticeable cover is for New Avengers, with the re-blooming marriage of Hawkeye/Ronin and Mockingbird. The cover is familiar and beautiful because it was done by Jo Chen, the artist for the spectacularly beautiful Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books. Nice to see her getting more gigs.

One last thought. Is it me, or is Wanda Maximoff now a little zaftig? Must have been all that chocolat and beouf she ate in whatever French village she was hiding.


Proposition X

The X-Men have recently relocated to California, making San Fransisco/Marin County their new base of operations. Hailing it as the last refuge for mutants in the world, the lovable heroic mutants can walk through the town without hiding their wings or scaly lizard arms, cause those Franciscans are just so cool and open minded.

Except for the evil politician Simon Trask, who is "muscling Proposition X to an emergency ballot vote." Proposition X would deny mutants (powered or depowered) the right to breed, thus extinguishing the mutant gene from the species. Sound familiar at all?

First of all, Darwin's been debunked, and Storm could theoretically pass on her powers to a child by virtue of molecular memory.

Secondly, the alteration of a state or country's constitution to redefine a word that has been defined for hundreds of years is not synonymous with sterilizing all gay men and women and sending them to eunuch internment camps.

If Matt Fraction, the clearly super creative writer of Uncanny X-Men, continues down the same path of inspiration, he better show the overwhelming number of voters who pass Proposition X. But most likely we'll see the gay-bashing, I mean mutie-bashing, Hellfire Cult of thugs getting smacked down by the democratic process, as opposed to the large african-american community turning on their fellow minority.

Take it from someone who knows; San Francisco is far far worse than Westchester, NY. Fly, fly back to the suburbs X-Men.

Jackie No

One of the biggest disappointments of Obama's Inauguration Day festivities, for both followers and 'cynics' alike, was the chosen attire of the new First Lady, whose title of First Lady of Fashion is already wearing thin.

After the red-and-black butcher's apron monstrosity of election night, Michelle Obama has been fairly muted and reserved in terms of wardrobe. Yesterday was her day to shine, but she merely produced a faint glimmer, and even that could have been the sunlight reflecting off of Obama's flag-pin.

During the ceremony her green/yellow soupy business look didn't really go over well, but whatever, it was 20 degrees and everyone was busy looking at Obama (has he gotten smaller?). Plus, as they say, yellow can be mellow, and hence take the edge off some of those nerves.

The nighttime gown, however, that was the opportunity for elegance, fashion, whimsy, hope, all those lame semi-descriptive terms that can be applied to clothes ad nauseum. However, once again, she picked an ill-fitting, poorly designed 'prom dress'.

If this were reality I'd say 'Auf Wiedersehen', but it's just a show, so I'll let her stay on for another 4 years.

Besides, its a new world order now, and she's got a bunch of colors to choose from, such as black, brown, even red. But not white, right Reverend?


While the mainstream media continues its hype of Obama's inauguration...despite it being over and tepid...they also continue to ignore the treatment the 'bipartisan, hopeful American' crowd gave to George Bush during the ceremony. Not only was he booed, or met with stone cold silence by his seats, but they actually launched into a football-stadium chant of "Hey, hey, hey, goood-bye."

I wish their behavior was more surprising. But what can you expect from the huddled masses? They have been denied so much, their suffering should be considered and their actions apologized. It is time for Obama to heal them, to provide them with a better way to live, to lead by example.

Well, except for the example set by his Chief of Staff, (whose appearance received fervent "Rahmbo" cheers, akin to the "O-Bah-Mah!" slogan) as he invokes the similar chant of "Nyah-nyah-ne-nyah-nyah."

Which Witch is Which?

No, the similarities are not completely striking. But if Helen Thomas had the reality-altering power that Wanda Maximoff had, I bet she would have said "No. More. Americans." instead of "No. More. Mutants." Somehow Thomas has managed to hang on to life with the icy strong grip of bitterness.

The bile of liberal hope sustains her. She could be an Avenger.

Maybe Don't Let Palin Be Palin

Palin seems to have picked up some bad habits from McCain.

Despite the train wreck of a campaign she was forced to smile through, the editing and coaching and clipping and apologizing, Sarah Palin seems to have taken some of McCain's lessons to heart. Namely, try to appeal to as many people as possible.

Palin has announced that she is, in effect, going green by introducing legislation that would make utilities in Alaska produce 50% of their power through renewable sources by the year 2025, which is even more ambitious than Obama's plans.

In the same breath she encourages Americans to demand and allow Alaska's participation in gas and oil production.

She goes on to encourage tax cuts (duh) and not skimping money for soldiers' equipment (mega-duh), adding to the list of benign obvious Hopes for the Obama Presidency.

At a time of such fevered and stretched and disappointed hope in Obama's inauguration and the things he has yet to not do, I turned to Palin as the last true conservative in politics, one who had learned from the glaring mistakes of McCain's campaign, and who was ready to stick to her principles and ideologies. Perhaps Rush is the last man standing after all.

Most of us know by now that global warming is a hoax, and soon enough everybody will (even liberals are starting to report it) so why doesn't Palin? Who is she appeasing by submitting legislation that will be costly and useless? Does she not already have the support of Alaskans? If she is beginning a long deliberate run to 2012 she should take some notes from Chambliss, not from 'my friend' John.

UK Prison Incentives

A Romanian ex-con homeless immigrant drifting around areas surrounding London, mugged, beat, and raped a 21year old girl at the train station as she was on her way home from seeing friends. The attack was captured on CCTV (how helpful) and the man was tracked down because he continued using the girl's cell phone.

Upon arrest he was examined by multiple psychologists, to whom he said "When I was on the railway station I thought I should rape this lady in order to get a place to eat and sleep and learn the English language." He expressed the desire to be sent to the same prison as his dear brother, who is serving time for rape and attempted murder.

Together they could study, rest, and work up some strength before they went back to the mean streets of West Yorkshire.

Ali Majlat was in Romanian jail 6 months ago for theft, and London jail in September for burglary. EU citizens with a valid passport can enter Britain without any warning, criminal history or not it seems, and similarly cannot be deported back to their home countries after criminal activity unless they represent a truly serious threat.

London magistrates in September did not deem Majlat such a "high risk." Last month it was revealed by the Tory party that in the past year alone 3,000 foreign criminals were released into the populace without deportation.

Come to Britain for the drunk white girls, stay for the free food, housing and healthcare. God save the Queen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Double Standard Bearer

The farce of the Obama inauguration is mercifully in its final day, but the required mood of blind faith and non-specific hope is only entering a middle.

On his show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh brought up the topic of Jim Jones, the mass murderer slash spiritual leader of Jonestown. Rush skirted around the similarities between the two, but failed to discuss Jones' history before the horrible ending that garnered so much press. Before leaving the country to set up in Guyana, Jones was enmeshed in the politics of San Francisco.

Mayor Moscone, Governor Brown, Harvey Milk, Walter Mondale, first-lady Rosalynn Carter; all these powerful figures met with Jones repeatedly, speaking at his Peoples' Temple, using his volunteers for their campaigns, toasting him at special dinners where he was compared to Chairman Mao, MLK and Albert Einstein, pledging support and receiving aid from his ever-expanding cult. He was appointed to the Human Rights Commission as well the Housing Authority Commission. He bussed in his followers from other parts of the state and country to cast illegal votes for Moscone, and physically abused any followers who did not help to steal the election (which was completely successful.)

The general impression among democrats and newspapers of the time treated Jones as a modern-day Jesus Christ, which is exactly the role he cultivated once he decided to use religion as a means to his socialistic ends. The democrats saw his 'extended family' getting healthcare when they needed it, getting legal aid when they needed it, getting food when they needed it, and praised him for it. They knew they must keep on his good side in order to benefit from his massive base and 'volunteer' work force. They gushed and complimented and showered him with platitudes about hope and change, and a better America.

It is the defining characteristic of socialism to have a God-like figure leading the pack while preaching equality. It seems all one needs to do to gain followers is combine vague American-sounding ideals with powerful rhetoric. But that is a severe understatement, as the ability Jim Jones' had to manipulate and control the minds of other human beings is considered legendary and nigh inexplicable. Which is merely a way of describing his power over others as a rare, evil trait that is impossible to recreate.

Only it has occurred countless times throughout history; Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Chavez, etc. etc. Anywhere there are people, there are those who desire leadership, someone to make decisions for them, be responsible for them, care and guide and reassure them, whatever the cost. They are more than willing to forsake free will and whatever morality they once had for the promise of something easier.

Jones found this early. He used democratic ideals from the start, advocating desegregation and equal rights, cleaning up the bedpans of black patients in hospitals, adopting black children. His progressive convictions not only ensured his place in politics, but the brunt of his deadly loyal followers of which the majority was black.

So either people believed in his message, in him, or were just waiting for someone with a podium to come and tell them what to believe.

I think the parallels with Obama are obvious. His politics are vague and his promises change daily. He is the camp counselor who talks to you like a friend and in the same voice says "Everybody needs to pitch in" which you suddenly realize is an order. He is the epitome of liberalism; appealing to nebulous optimism and easy warm emotions we all share, and using them to advance whatever ambition and ideology he truly harbors.

The amount of deeply intelligent people I hear blindly repeating the same soundbites ("I never thought this would happen in my generation") horrifies me. That unity is so desirable we would sacrifice our personal beliefs for the sake of the whole is so un-American, so truly antithetical to freedom and what this country was created for, that I feel sick in contemplating the possibilities of the next four years.

It is classic science fiction. Only it isn't. The Flavor-Aid is being passed around, and there are only a few of us whose spider sense is tingling. I pray that the true American is strong enough an individual to discern the reality for themselves, to look past the sugar of easy rhetoric to the substance beneath, or the lack thereof. None of us deserve what we haven't earned. Our history, our freedom, our way of life is being threatened, and before we realize it and reach for our weapons, the fight will be over.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Donnie Dark-ER

Last week's ER took the conventional chronological time sequence and really injected it with some freshly overused literary devices. Namely, a causality loop, also known as a predestination paradox, also known as Groundhog Day.

Dr. Neela Rasgotra relives an eventful day at Chicago's County General about 4 times, treating a young classical-music loving girl and a "dream runner" who acts out his dragon-slaying dreams by jumping out windows, as well as confronting the future of her career. For some reason Parminda Nagra is still bearable to watch, despite having one of the flattest ER characters in a half-decade of cardboard doctor/actors. Honestly, it's like she just joined the cast and I know nothing about her. Somehow she's become one of the 'regulars', and I inherently know she's very good at being a surgeon...mostly because she's Indian, and I've seen her do a butterfly kick.

Her Beckham fame has proven priceless to the lame duck writing staff of ER as she was the center of the entire episode. For the first half hour I actually enjoyed it. The usual tragedies occurred in the first 15 minutes, but then suddenly there was a chance to try over, for Neela to do things better. And she did, minimizing but not averting the tragedy. Still, I had hope. I thought "OK, it's actually kind of bold for them to do something you'd see more often in scifi. This omniscient/epileptic/analeptic feeling is familiar. Maybe things will work out well."

And then I heard the street musician playing "Mad World" and I knew she was screwed.

(Plus it made me flash to a crying Mary McDonnell burning a Bible and I got all confused.)

However each successive repeat of the day got more, well, successful. By the end she saves the girl, saves the dream-runner, sees the light about staying at county, and has really good sex with that beautiful Australian rugby doctor, whose casting was just a shameless piece of ratings-bait which I happily swallow.

And then, right when some of the hope returned as I knew the end was near, they played the Donnie Darko song and had her wake up one last time. Cut to credits. What was real? What sequence of events were accepted into the true world's timeline? Who gives a shit?

I choose to remember the final edited happy ending as the only ending. Props to the writers for giving it a try, but go a little further since you're leaving forever soon, and you have this built-in world to play with, so some originality would be appreciated.

Most bizarre and badly used guest appearance: Dr. Elizabeth Corday. She appeared for about 5 minutes total, as Duke Professor/Doctor who interviewed Neela for an attending position. She said she owed a lot to County General, and the was seen striding awkwardly off screen for good. After her River Song 2-parter on Doctor Who, I for some reason assumed she'd get an actual storyline in ER, the way they did with Dr. Greene. Shame on them for making her fly all that way for two lousy scenes.

Dalai Lama vs. Terrorism

"They (terrorists) are very brilliant and educated...but a strong ill feeling is bred in them. Their minds are closed," the Dalai Lama said this weekend. He advocated prevention rather than non-violence.

He went on to profess his love for George Bush, with whom he developed a rare and immediate bond upon meeting.


Poor Richard Gere, his whole identity flushed down the toilet.

What SHOULD Happen In Marvel and DC This Year

A few suggestions for Didio and Quesada. Feel free to criticize, praise, add or subtract.


The X-Team that is in Limbo endures hardships, but is triumphant. Along the way Santo reforms himself out of Limbo rock, but cannot regain his usual massive size and is stuck in the proportions of a normal sized person. Illyana, with the help of Piotr and the team, gets her bloodstones back from Belasco's daughter and becomes herself again (an actual teenager this time, rightfully aged) but thus loses power and control over Limbo. As Belasco's daughter is about to take over and kill the X-Men and then go to Earth to conquer there, Pixie kills her with her soul-dagger, a traumatic victory for her that leads to that weird limbo-council and all those minions bowing down before her. She is saddled with the Storm/Morlock-like responsibility of Limbo, and bonds with Illyana who will help her manage the hell dimension while doing their San Fran X-duties. After their return and reunion with the other X-Men, Illyana and Piotr decide to go to space, taking Pixie, Nightcrawler, Hepzibah (space experience), and maybe Storm on The Search for Kitty Pryde. (Rachel Grey, already in Shi'ar space, senses them and brings the Phoenix power to help. She leads them to a nearly-dead Lockheed on an abandoned planet and follow Kitty's trail.)

Battle for the Cowl:

While trying to get Gotham City under control in the absence of the Bat, Nightwing and Robin and Batgirl organize a network of heroes and detectives (Riddler, Jason Bard) to monitor and control the city. Arguments over methods cause a rift between Robin and Batgirl, and Nightwing, leading Dick not to concede any moral victory, but to give Tim the chance to write his own rules and try it his way. Thus, Tim Drake assumes the mantle of the Bat, which he is shocked to discover suits him better than he ever expected. (He beats down the vindictive jealous Jason Todd and Damian, who ambush him in the cave.) He is less hands-on than Bruce, his detective skills improving by leaps and bounds, manipulating events and villains behind the scenes and rebuilding and repopulating Arkham Asylum one victory at a time. He begins to follow Bruce's footsteps by pushing his allies away--a more mature Spoiler, a lonely Batgirl, even Alfred whom he feels can't stop viewing him as the teenage sidekick. But being more introspective and self-critical than anyone, Tim realizes he cannot keep this up forever, and at the same time begins finding clues that Batman is alive. He pursues the trail with multiple possibilities; Bruce faked his own death as a test to see how Tim, Dick and Gotham in general exist without him, or else he is alive somewhere with no memory of his previous existence (due to Darkseid's Omega sanction). Tim finds him and convinces him to return, either by painfully and unwillingly reminding him of past tragedies, or by having passed Bruce's test with flying colors. Bruce Wayne returns as Batman.

Teen Titans:

The really lame new line-up fares horribly in their first big outing, with Aquagirl's powers sucked away by a villain, Bombshell's metal hide melted, and Kid Eternity's supergay 80s costume ruined by a rogue cup of coffee. Cassie disbands them and recruits a new team; Spoiler, Zatarra (who is more inclined to heroics after his forced stay in the Dark Side Club), Kid Devil (cause he's grown on me and is buds with Zat), Speedy, Ravager and Bart Allen (who is somehow alive by then.) Together they bring the Titans back to basics, patrolling San Fran, monitoring metahuman activity, and overall being more proactive, with a few team-ups with their predecessors thrown in the mix. After Robin resumes his duties as Robin, Tim returns and tensions arise over leadership with Cassie and romance with Spoiler, who eventually leaves. Reunited, Tim Cassie and Bart endeavor to resurrect Connor, knowing there will be consequences but not caring.

Young X-Men:

Anole goes to a Gay Rights' group and is blinded by their welcoming nature, until their protests against a Church and some talk radio hosts gets violent, and he stands up for the rights of those he personally opposes to be safely heard. The experience matures him, and he designs actual costumes for his team and assumes leadership, telling Dani and Bobby that they don't need them anymore. (Leading to a New Mutants reunion, and a new X-team under Cannonball's leadership.) Him and Graymalkin begin an almost Victorian courtship, with some flirting and shyness and savage fighting for each other in battles. Cyclops deems it necessary for them to have at least one adult supervising, and Anole chooses Northstar, who brings Noriko and Mercury into the mix, and gets rid of the once-powerful now-powerless Ink.

SNL Does Ann Coulter, About As Well As They Do Everything Else

SNL has posted a Weekend Update visit from Ann Coulter as a web exclusive--apparently it didn't make it to the final cut (guess they have SOME taste) but I wouldn't know, since if I did manage to stay up that late, it wouldn't be to watch them.

One of the new cast members in their rotating team of talentless hacks puts a blonde wig on and goes for it :

Points they find to make fun of Coulter:
-she's mean
-she's skinny
-she won't go away
-she's victimized by liberal interviewers

Now, SNL isn't worth getting mad over. They've had a few decades too many and despite having a crapload of money and time and writers, and thus every opportunity to think of something funny and original, they fail every single week. I mean, a high school could do a better sketch comedy show.

But Coulter, as the anti-Christ of all their personal and publicly stated views, politically or otherwise, is full of possibilities for parody. The woman has done about a dozen interviews, just in the last week, making several hilarious jokes and not only surviving awkward situations and direct attacks, but turning them around and regularly dominating the interview.

They could have had her and Seth have a sword fight, or her and Rush arguing over who is really the true standard bearer of conservatism. She could have hijacked Weekend Update and read the news and started interviewing Seth, the way she takes over all her appearances. They could have used facts from any of the thousands of arguments she's made in her career, and multiple best-selling books, but as usual they were either frightened by her substance, or they just hadn't actually read any of her work. What they knew about her was gained from pop culture, the same way they get their information about Bush. (i.e. she's a bitch and he's a moron.)

Even when they had their lame writer's strike, and basically got an entire 12 months off, they didn't come up with a single idea. They returned immediately with lame shows and horribly long pointless sketches. I understand there was some principle involved with not-writing, but is it so wrong to brainstorm? Jot down some ideas? Why does the process have to involve coming in on Monday and trying to think of something to do on Saturday?

If SNL is going to survive, which would be nice since it's such a familiar institution, they need to fire absolutely everyone involved (except maybe Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen), especially the black dude and Seth Meyers, get new writers who have something to prove and are actually funny, and do a halfway decent show for once this century.

And if anyone wants to make fun of Ann Coulter, go ahead and try. I've yet to see it work.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Scarlet Witch Has Returned

Marvel Solicitations for this upcoming week have been chock full of good stuff.

In Mighty Avengers #21, a title I haven't been very interested in nor planning on giving a try what with the new Hank Pym/Wasp and other uninteresting characters, (it seems) the Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff, has returned. I heard about this a few weeks back at least, and it seemed like a pretty huge thing to sneak into a side-Avengers title. It goes against the Big 2's nature to have epic returns that don't occur during some kind of crossover event.

Therefore I am not entirely convinced of their sincerity in bringing her back. If a fractured fucked-up Wanda made herself disappear after rewriting reality then more-than-decimating the Earth's mutant population, and murdering some fellow Avengers, and was completely unfindable by all the most powerful heroes, why now has she suddenly returned to Pym's new version of the Avengers? Why is she in costume and using her powers? Where is Pietro? Where are the heroes who've sworn vengeance and had once planned on killing her?

You can understand my mistrust in glossing over her return, and perhaps even share it. However, in idly checking through this week's Marvel previews, having gone through the X-titles, I took a look at Mighty #21 and I liked what I saw. Mostly because it opens, and sticks with, the Young Avengers. The Young Avengers kick ass (codename 'Stature' aside) and are sadly underused but I think fairly unanimously enjoyed. Why they don't have their own title I do not know, but seeing them repeatedly in events like Civil War and Secret Invasion shows they've earned some respect.

Now the unveiling of the Scarlet Witch in a smaller Avengers title makes sense to me; pair her with the Young Avengers whose very existence is based upon the fateful day she killed her teammates and destroyed Avengers mansion. (Had that not happened, Iron Lad would never have recruited the young heroes to form a team.) In addition to their origin, there is major emotional baggage, not the least of which is that Billy (my predictable) and Teddy are the twin sons of Wanda Maximoff...the ones she created with her reality warping powers and then lost to Mephisto or uncreated...or something...who were the only ones to truly go searching all over the world for a sign that she was alive. Plus Cassie Lang's father is one of the Avengers who died that day. And the Vision is a new version of the android she married, and then also killed that day. The Young Avengers are steeped in Avengers lore, and most effected by the Witch's history. It only makes sense that they are the first to confront her.

Many questions remain, including whether she is real or some kind of Reed Richards Thor-Bot, mentally stable, an amnesiac, good, evil, turning the Young Avengers into stone or saving the city, etc. But I intend to find out, starting Wednesday. Anything that has the younguns in it, I'll buy (as evidenced by that horrible 5-part What If...? back story.)

X-Men Kingbreaker Preview: The Empress and the Gladiator

Marvel's solicitations for this upcoming week include several pages from the second issue of X-Men: Kingbreaker. In her attempts to restore her rule over the Shi'ar Imperium, Lilandra reaches out to her once most-trusted ally and protector, Kallark aka Gladiator.

Gladiator has been a super cool cosmic bad ass since he first appeared during the classic Pheonix saga fighting the X-Men for the life of Jean Grey, and since I first met him, when an Xavier-Skrull turned the Starjammers and Imperial Guard against the X-Men. He was pretty indisputably the most powerful being in the universe, at least the X-verse, with a Mohawk that was somehow timeless and Superman strength in a larger stature. He got a thousand times more interesting when I discovered his powers were directly related to his confidence and self-worth; if he, for one moment, doubted his ability to win a battle or, say, move a mountain, his strength would ebb and disappear exponentially.

That being said his drone-like obedience was a major turn-off. Despite personal prejudices, he would remain active in his role as Praetor, commander of the Imperial Guard, and protector of the Emperor, whoever she or he may be. The chutzpah! Sticking with the process even though his candidate wasn't elected. Oh, wait, actually he has served a few psychopathic megalomanic dictators, carrying out their orders despite being able to see their evil. (He's on his third one now.)

It has never been explained exactly why he is so stalwartly committed to his duties. (Or maybe it has, but before my time and not with enough clarity to make it onto wikipedia.) It's just been known that he is nigh invulnerable, dedicated to Lilandra, and unfailing in his job despite who his boss is.

Now, suddenly, Lilandra hints at a reason for his blind obedience. Which is interesting, but completely overshadowed by the appearance of some kind of romantic history between the two.

Lilandra, a wanted fugitive who knows Gladiator is loyal to his duty and is thus endangering both of them as well as affronting his conscience, wakes him up in bed and then gets touchy feely and hands on in her approach. She is the Empress for the largest civilization in the history of the Marvel Universe, who has spurned true love and affection time and again for the sake of her empire, not to mention lost her crown to usurpers about 3 or 4 times now, mostly due to her pacifist principles. Yet she, like Sydney Bristow, does not have a problem with using her sexuality or romantic history to try and recruit an ally in her ongoing war for power?

It just seems out of character. Or maybe just slutty and in character, it's not like Lilandra was ever super fleshed out (no pun intended) but her nobility was certainly emphasized. Am I missing a big chunk of Shi'ar history here? Or is Chris Yost just trying to add some layers to this new chapter in the ongoing Shi'ar/Vulcan/Inhumans/Nova space war(s)? Also didn't he used to be bluer? Maybe he fades as he ages, or perhaps it is emotion-related, like his power.

Regardless, I'm actually rather into it. I like the series, I like the last space-battle stories with Rachel and Havok and Lorna, I like the art and the ambition. So far it seems they've been able to manage the scope of it all, and I hope it continues, while providing the action and character building that it is ripe for (particularly the three aforementioned X-Men.)

Best. News. Ever.

Veronica Mars is headed for the big screen!!

Series creator and card carrying genius Rob Thomas has revealed his commitment to a Veronica Mars movie as his next project.

Thomas has revitalized his 1998 TV failure, though it was a hit with me and my sister, Cupid with Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson. The braintrust at ABC, after greenlighting a once-cancelled show, have already cut the series order from 13 to 8. (Next they'll move it to Fridays...why do they waste their money on these things if they have no faith?) "That means I have time to write the Veronica Mars movie, " Thomas says.

Frakkin A! Kristen Bell is in. Colantoni is in. Dohring is in. Joel Silver is expected to produce. And the story is "70% broken" in Thomas' head already. (They're skipping the super-cool FBI future they previewed when the series was killed, and sticking around Hearst for Veronica's last few months of college.)

God bless. There have been few shows so tight and well-written on TV, either before or since Veronica left the air. (Consider it the Brick of the small screen.) Kristen Bell is a serious powerhouse with that role, and it hurt to see her on Heroes or in crappy movies, or as the eponymous and unseen Gossip Girl.

Message to Dawn Ostroff: "After all these years do you not instinctively fear me? Maybe you should write yourself a note."

Mad Men Make Deal

Matthew Weiner is sticking around. The acclaimed creator of the acclaimed series has finalized a new acclaimed deal with Lionsgate TV, ensuring his acclaimed presence behind the wheel for two more years of acclaimed storytelling.

For the retarded, Mad Men is the critically acclaimed show on AMC. It's about as depressing as BSG, with aesthetically pleasing clothes instead of guns and explosions. It also makes you really want a whiskey and a cigarette.

Weiner's deal involves a seven-figure salary, which is a polite hollywood-biz way of saying he is now officially rolling in it.

The Final Cylon

I challenge TV Guide.

I do not think Ellen is truly the final cylon. She may very well have been a cylon, but by the same definition so is Starbuck, having died and been resurrected (she actually burned her own body for gods sake.)

I don't think a story line that existed since the miniseries is wrapped up with the easy-to-hate foil Ellen. Plus she's dead so perhaps the 12 cylon models refers to the 12 'active' surviving models.

Part of me expects to see Dualla wake up on a baseship somewhere.

However I am not the foremost BSG scholar on the internet, just a stalwart fan. Feel free to enlighten me.

Post Traumatic BSG Depression

One of the greatest achievements of Battlestar Galactica is that before every new episode I forget how horribly horribly sad the show always is.

In anticipation of the final half-season's premiere, my thoughts were like most fans'; is Earth completely uninhabitable? What are they going to do now? Who is the final cylon? Will Starbuck and Apollo get it on finally? Do the rules of Pyramid-ball make any sense? Where do they keep finding all that ambrosia?

Foolishly I did not consider the requisite depression and defeat that finding a nuked Earth would cause, nor the inevitable pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps breakdown-and-rally the characters would have to endure. How many times must we see a drunken despairing Adama turn back into the able Admiral after a good shave? How much trauma must they put Gaeta through before he snaps and goes homicidal?

Even the cheery President Rosalyn, whose terminal cancer is entering its 6th year, cries and quits and burns her beloved Bible--er, I mean the prophesies of Pythia or sacred scrolls or whatever. Managing somehow to avoid the cheese factor, they give us a long close-up of her spiritual immolation while she cries "Burn, burn!" like a galactic Lady Macbeth. It's really very hard to watch, like most BSG scenes when I think about it.

But every time I forget to expect it. The premiere opens with the lovely benign beauty of Dualla, a woefully underused character in the later seasons, going through the same stages of massive grief as everyone else, if not a little more intensely. However she gets a few strange scenes as she features more prominently than she has in years, including trance-like facial expressions and repetitions of biblical passages and songs. Early on, tipped off by this enhanced exposure and her unexplained blank stare in the raptor, I began to suspect her as the final cylon.

And it is my belief that she began to suspect the same thing. After helping Lee find his strength (again) she rides the wave of nostalgia and affection, babysitting the innocent untouched Hera and having a night of drinks and laughter celebrating Lee's inspiring message to the fleet. When she spoke calmly to Lee in the flight room, and the door closed on her and Hera alone, I felt ominous foreboding chills as I questioned her thought process and intentions. When she laughed with her hair down and kissed Lee at the end of the night, that was gone, replaced with a rare sliver of joy. "You're glowing," Gaeta tells her the next morning as she dresses and sings, not unlike the glow Tory emanated once she discovered her true nature as a cylon. She tells Gaeta she wants to hold on to this feeling for as long as she can, and then shoots herself in the head once he leaves the room.

I believe the thought of suicide entered her mind when she found the jacks on the radioactive beach of Earth, and the idea that she was a cylon occurred to her on the raptor. Questioning the nature of her own existence was not a final-cylon plot line, but instead a rationalization for her to kill herself which would violate her religious beliefs as well as hurt those that she loved. She knew what she was going to do for most of the episode, with a resigned almost noble determination, she set Lee back on his path and truly enjoyed her final hours of life.

But it was horribly, horribly tragic and difficult to watch. It made Adama sink deeper into his pity (and explore the same out she took with a gun to the head) and it didn't sound real when the news was relayed to Starbuck. Not to mention Dee is gone forever (which equals nine episodes) and her voice will not be heard by the pilots over the wireless telling them to "Come on home." That, perhaps, will be the most poignant--the loss of her familiar voice in the big black vastness of hostile space.

Why I continue to be shocked and surprised by the non-sugarcoated depth of tragedy the writers inflict on their beloved characters, I do not know. Perhaps it is the action, the fights and explosions and effects and teasers, the hype and spoilers and impending finality. But from its very start this show has been more of a drama than Six Feet Under was on its saddest day, and I will endeavor to keep that in mind as the last episodes unfold.

If the characters truly get what they deserve at the end of their journey, there will be life and joy as we say goodbye. But I wouldn't bet on it.

RIP Anastasia Dualla

Prostitution Free Zone

DC officials have posted these signs in an attempt to discourage pay for play during Obama's immaculate inauguration.

The wording however leaves something to be desired as I find it could easily be encouraging the very act it is aimed to deter. Kind of an inauguration rebate, a generous donation of inspired hookers who want to contribute to the new common good.

Not to mention the lobbyists who will misinterpret the signs and end up taking the long way around to the US Capitol.

I can only hope the next four years will go faster than high school.

What Kind of Health Insurance Does Your Dog Have?

-Come here puppy! Come here!

-Objection, Leading!

President-select Barack Obama has picked Cass Sunstein of Harvard Law School to be in charge of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Critics of Sunstein claim he has a secret animal rights agenda.

Among his viewpoints, Sunstein has professed in past speeches and writings that hunting should be outlawed, as well as the consumption of meat.

His most pleasing goal is to give animals the right to file lawsuits: "...animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives … Any animals that are entitled to bring suit would be represented by (human) counsel, who would owe guardian-like obligations and make decisions, subject to those obligations, on their clients’ behalf."

You can't make this stuff up. (I've tried.) Even when it gets reported it still doesn't stick. Obama's the new teflon, the political equivalent of Luke Cage (not racially, just in terms of powers, since Cage is 100% black) and it seems only a matter of time before some of this bizarreness gets truly noticed. Of course, I thought that about 2 years ago as well, so who knows.

---------Warning: Random segue into comic books----------

If Layla Miller were back from the future I might ask her, if only the "stuff" she knows didn't include quoting Dick Cheney while inciting rebellion against the fascistic US government that rules in 80 years. X-Factor had potential when it (re)began, mostly because of Layla, but now that she's gone it plods along and never gets anywhere, like so many other titles. I wonder if Obama's reign will alter the bleak outlook on the future that Peter David enjoys, and suddenly the mutant concentration camp in Brooklyn will fade into an alternate Bush/Cheney timeline.

Maybe raising Siryn and Jamie's illegitimate child in Detroit wasn't the best idea either. If only liberals were forced to relegate their meddling and 'humanitarian' god-work to the world of fiction, the real one would be a lot a more successful. As for the fiction, it would stay about the same.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

State of Emergency

New Mark Steyn.

Colin Powell Vomits Up Some Cheese

Warm fuzzy toxic waste.

New Battle For The Cowl Cover!

IGN has posted a cover for Battle for the Cowl #2 by Tony Daniel (his website is linked on the right.)

By God do I love Robin! He's looking slim and tall and powerful, and much more composed (less pissed) than Nightwing in the cover of the first issue. I can't wait to see how Daniel writes Tim, not to mention what he plans for Spoiler and Cassandra (anyone remember Batgirl's numerous discussions with Tim about how he doesn't want to become Batman but that's her greatest goal?)

Also, here I was, whining to myself that we were only going to get a 3-part story, albeit with a few extra pages. But of course, they've included about 20 one-shots, or side series, to stretch the event out and make more money. I'll admit, I tend to be interested in Oracle, specifically when she actually fights crime and doesn't just hack stuff or whine, and what with Arkham Asylum being destroyed (little too Bane-y for me, but imagine what would have happened if Bruce wasn't around when Bane popped up. Sounds like a decent description of BFTC now) I could deal with some faces of evil/bad guy perspective issues. But a new Azrael? And Man-Bat? C'mon, seriously, why is Man-Bat still even mentioned?

Regardless of the shameless moneymaking extra issues, I am getting very exciting for the next Bat-event. Granted, Final Crisis isn't technically over, but I was done it with it around issue 1. It seems the responsibility of redeeming Batman after Grant Morrison freebased and got sick all over his character is falling squarely on Tony Daniel's shoulders, and so far, at least where art is concerned, he's rising to the challenge. It is Batman after all.

According to IGN "Grant Morrison will be returning to Batman at some point after Cowl wraps up, and we can only hope he makes his return sooner rather than later. " First of all, what? Second of all, why? Third of all, thanks for the editorial but clearly you have no taste or are a 13 year old boy who forgot to take his adderall. Fourth of all, why? Fifth of all, yeahbuwhah??
Sixth of all, and finally, Grant Morrison is much harder to kill than Batman, Superman, Jean Grey, Wasp, or any beloved character who has met an untimely demise, and it's just not fair. Not only do they keep giving him huge titles to write and heroes to destroy, but they fawn over everything he creates and review it like its Watchmen. Believe me, his shit definitely stinks.

Mark Your Time Hu-Mans!

A message from Waxulon-6 Lord High Admiral of the Kremulakian Earth Invaders.