Monday, December 28, 2009

Napolitano: "The System Worked," but "The System Failed Miserably"

"The system, once the incident had occurred, the system worked." So hey relax, everyone. The system worked perfectly after the bomb failed to get all explodey because of some kind of faulty detonator. The nice thing about Janet Napolitano's choice of words is that the statement probably still would have been true had the Detroit landscape been scattered with 289 dead bodies on Christmas Day. "Once the incident had occurred, the system worked." Yeah, well, "Once the incident had occurred" the system doesn't matter so much, does it?

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"Out of context" is the shield behind which many a politico hide after saying something stupid. The scary thing is this time we're not talking about Joe-Biden-level-stupid, we're talking about the safety of any non-radical-Muslim boarding any airplane in the world.

Thankfully we can all rest assured that after any future incidents occur, the Department of Homeland Security will be all over that. Before any future incidents occur, well, America, you're on your own.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Who Did Obama Bow to in Copenhagen?

Any ideas as to who this is?

Avatar - You Can Fly, You Can Fight, You Can CAW CAW CAWWWW !

Not since the invention of pornography itself has a director achieved the level of disparity between the visual experience of an audience and the story itself as James Cameron has accomplished in his latest film Avatar. I would be remiss not to warn you of potential spoilers in the next few paragraphs, but if you have been part of the movie-going public for the past three decades, nothing I can write is capable of spoiling Avatar's altogether predictable story.

Fundamentally, Avatar is Cameron's retelling of the 1991 Robert Williams classic "Hook" with heaping portions of FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Dances With Wolves, and Capitalism: A Love Story thrown in. In Hook-like fashion, Jake Sulley (the only name you will remember from the films long list of forgettable characters) is forced to interact with a seemingly inferior people-group that is facing down an evil, but technologically superior, race. After a beautifully-shot montage, Jake becomes aware that although the blue tree-folk appear to be developmentally delayed with nearly every respect to their society, their hippy-ish qualities are appealing and deserve his protection. Unfortunately for the blue people, the audience could not be more apathetic about their plight; Smurfs garnered more emotional investment from viewers than these people. In Dances With Wolves the audience found itself pulling for the frightening-in-the-first-hour-but-lovable-in-the-second-hour native-Americans; in Avatar, however, the audience did not seem to care who lives or dies as long as the victor promised more awesome 3D action.

Again, borrowing from Hook, Jake-the-outsider challenges the alpha-male of the blue people and becomes the leader of the blue people, although we later discover that Jake has access to some kind of high-explosives or something, so that could have had some influence on his political ascendancy. There is no Tinkerbell character per se, but all of the blue people have glow-in-the-dark features that make them less Tinkerbell and more Black Eyed Pea.



Not Avatar

Much like Rufio, leader of the Lost Boys, the former alpha-male of the blue people (who has a name, but nobody cares what it is) recognizes Jakes true heart and heroically sacrifices himself for the cause. Cameron fails to include inspiring lines like "Looky, look, I've got Hooky" and "You can fly, you can fight, and you can CAW CAW CAW crow." And, yes, Avatar's dialogue would have been improved with lines such as these.

The story surrounding the marketing of this film is that Cameron has had the desire to make Avatar for the past 30 years, but technology is just now capable of allowing him to see his vision attained. I find this hard to believe considering the heavy-handed preaching the audience receives about the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A religious people lives on top of vast amounts of a valuable mineral deposit called "unobtainium" (seriously) and this primarily caucasian military-industrial complex invades their land in order to obtain the "unobtainium." The following phrases are actually used in the film: "shock and awe campaign," "we will fight terror with terror," and the blue people call themselves "martyrs" at one point. With marked efficiency, the military, whose stereotypical leader spends the entirety of the film wanting to blow crap up, achieves a swift victory striking the political heart of the blue people which causes the warring clans of blue people to unite in order to aid the clan who was attacked. Outgunned, the blue people form an insurgency because, as one of them explains "We know these mountains better than they do."

Cameron is not satisfied to simply lecture his audience about the Iraq war; he uses his film as a platform to push his environmentalist and anti-capitalist agendas. The evil capitalists (who, we are told, "destroyed their world" such that in their world "there is no longer any green left" presumably because the evil capitalists so thoroughly raped mother nature back on earth) viciously attack the blue people who appear to function within  some sort of utopian communal monarchy. Cameron's lecture culminates in a scene in which a giant pollution-spewing tree-chomping machine tears through the jungle that is a shot-for-shot remake of the Hexxus from  FernGully: The Last Rainforest.


The most frustrating aspect of the film is dropping $15 to see a movie that incessantly preaches about how evil capitalism is. In this case it is especially maddening because James Cameron's films have earned in excess of $3 BILLION not including Avatar. Yeah. He despises capitalism. Can't you tell?

In the end, Avatar is full of eye candy, but, like candy, the calories are empty. The visuals are the best I have ever witnessed in a film, but the plot, dialogue, and characters are uninspired and yawn-worthy. I would recommend seeing this movie simply because each shot is so beautiful and the 3D effects are superb, but if you decide to see it, make sure you go to the theater because you will be disappointed watching this one at home.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Obama's Approval Rating Only 6 Points Higher Than Tiger Woods'

I never knew sports figures had approval ratings, but they do. And Tiger's approval rating is at 38%. One can only assume Woods still solidly holds the frat-boy vote. But President Obama only fares slightly better with his approval rating at an all-time low of 44% today. My how bad it's gotten for President Obama when the American people almost favor a pretty-boy-turned-adulterer over him.

It just shows that the American people have a poor sense of scale. Tiger Woods only screwed 10 people, but Barack Obama continues to screw 300 million of us.

Additionally, Golf Digest has both of them sharing the cover of their January 2010 issue.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Woot! Tea Party For the Loss!

Rasmussen reports that the Tea Party beats out the GOP in a three-way generic ballot. Read that sentence again. If the Tea Party beats the GOP in a three-way contest, then how does the third element of the three-way contest come out?

You guessed it! The Democrats win again.

"In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided."

Allow me to say this very clearly: If you like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid running the country, then by all means vote for your Tea Party candidate and we will wallow in another 40 year mire of Democratic control in order to make a political point.

If, on the other hand, you are willing to vote for Republican candidates, we might actually have a chance of protecting this country from those who are running it today. I can hear what you're saying, "They're all the same! Vote them all out! It's time for a third party!"

Look, I get it. The Republicans spent money like drunken frat boys with their first credit cards, but at least we didn't have to wonder if they wanted to see dead terrorists or not. At least we didn't worry about whether the Republicans wanted to keep the country safe. At least we didn't have to worry about the Republicans promoting and funding the killing of the unborn. At least we didn't have to worry that the Republicans were so in love with the likes of Cuba, Colombia, and Venezuela that they were violently shifting our nation in that direction. At least with the Republicans we were not concerned whether or not capitalism would survive another few years. At least with the Republicans we did not have to worry about whether those in power were openly hostile to business and the concept of profits.

I love Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin just as much as any other conservative out there, but their apparent push for a third party will spell a long painful death for the GOP. And before you say, "Good! That's what the party deserves!" Think about what you're saying. The Tea Party movement is not going to be able to compete with an entrenched Democratic party, so in killing the GOP, you breathe even more life into the Democratic party.

Think about this very carefully before you pull the lever next time you're in the voting booth.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Inept: Gibbs Compares Reporter to His Own 6-year-old Son

Gibbs should be happy the public has identified a member of the Obama White House staff who is more inept than he is. Instead, he seems to take the criticism of Desiree Rogers as a personal challenge seeking to secure his superior ineptitude by comparing reporter April Rogers to his child.

Question: Would Gibbs have treated Ryan this way had she been a man? Or white?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Crazy times

The Thanksgiving holiday forced me to take a few days off of blogging and while I was away we had some major developments in current events.

A couple (might have) crashed a White House state dinner.
Obama made a decision on Afghanistan.
Tiger Woods turned out to be kind of a slimeball.

Each of these deserves its own post, but my time is limited again this week. I will try to get something posted in the next few days, but thank you for your patience as real life keeps me busy.