And In Other News…

It’s Official.  There’s absolutely no one running for president who has my vote.  The Republicans are all evil, belligerent Jesus freaks. Hillary is way too Hawkish (and hasn’t met a principle she wouldn’t sell to the highest bidder for a handful of votes), Edwards can’t seem to say anything coherent and Obama becomes less appealing every damn time he opens his mouth. For a while, I had a slim hope in Kucinich, who aside form some silly, off the cuff remark about UFOs, was pretty damn sensible. But then he went and said that, if nominated, he’d pick Ron Paul as his running mate. While either him or Ron Paul winning the nomination is a slim peg to hang your hat on, I’m seriously disappointed that, out of over a dozen candidates, not one of them is sane, sensible or smart enough to not be a total fuckwit.

So, here we are, a year left until the election and I’m already sick of every single one of these circus freaks we have to choose from. Way to go, Democracy.

Brilliant!

The latest stunt by Ron Paul’s cultish followers comes to us from Greg Saunders at The Talent Show (and This Modern World). In the form of a blimp:

What planet are these guys from? In 2007, do people descend into a state of reverent awe whenever they see a large gray cylinder flying in the sky? Call my a cynic, I really doubt that the entire nation would collectively pause with wonder to follow the journey of a rented blimp.

Come on Greg, this is fucking genius! It’s big, ponderously slow and full of hot air! It screams “I am so out of touch with reality that I can float around aimlessly propelled by my own hot air!”

Look, I have fond dreams of a New Zeppelin Age, just like any sci-fi geek. Flying around the world on a cruise ship in the clouds… But come on! In the real world, people have better things to do with their time than watch balloons drift slowly by.

This highlights how retrograde Ron Paul’s ideas really are. He and his supporters want to recreate the 1930’s, Zeppelins and all because that was the last time White Male Christians had unchallenged control of the political scene. After World War II,  it wasn’t cool anymore to be antisemitic. By the sixties, you couldn’t be racist and by the seventies, you couldn’t be sexist. But, if we turn the clock back to those good old days when zeppelins roamed the sky, well, anything goes, so long as you’re in possession of a Bible, an X chromosome and enough gold sway back a mule.

But the fun doesn’t end there, no sir. The ad on the Official Ron Paul Blimp site (because every bad idea needs its very own website) compares donating to the Ron Paul Blimp with the Boston Tea Party. That’s right, supporting Ron Paul is just like throwing your money into the harbor.

Outlaw Clockmaker’s Restore Cultural Heritage In Secret

Guardian Unlimited:

Four members of an underground “cultural guerrilla” movement known as the Untergunther, whose purpose is to restore France’s cultural heritage, were cleared on Friday of breaking into the 18th-century monument in a plot worthy of Dan Brown or Umberto Eco. [Though, as pointed out in the comments at CT, it’s more in the vein of a Pynchon novel]

For a year from September 2005, under the nose of the Panthéon’s unsuspecting security officials, a group of intrepid “illegal restorers” set up a secret workshop and lounge in a cavity under the building’s famous dome. Under the supervision of group member Jean-Baptiste Viot, a professional clockmaker, they pieced apart and repaired the antique clock that had been left to rust in the building since the 1960s. Only when their clandestine revamp of the elaborate timepiece had been completed did they reveal themselves.”When we had finished the repairs, we had a big debate on whether we should let the Panthéon’s officials know or not,” said Lazar Klausmann, a spokesperson for the Untergunther. “We decided to tell them in the end so that they would know to wind the clock up so it would still work.

“The Panthéon’s administrator thought it was a hoax at first, but when we showed him the clock, and then took him up to our workshop, he had to take a deep breath and sit down.”

The Centre of National Monuments, embarrassed by the way the group entered the building so easily, did not take to the news kindly, taking legal action and replacing the administrator.

Getting into the building was the easiest part, according to Klausmann. The squad allowed themselves to be locked into the Panthéon one night, and then identified a side entrance near some stairs leading up to their future hiding place. “Opening a lock is the easiest thing for a clockmaker,” said Klausmann. From then on, they sneaked in day or night under the unsuspecting noses of the Panthéon’s officials.

“I’ve been working here for years,” said a ticket officer at the Panthéon who wished to remain anonymous. “I know every corner of the building. And I never noticed anything.”

The hardest part of the scheme was carrying up the planks used to make chairs and tables to furnish the Untergunther’s cosy squat cum workshop, which has sweeping views over Paris.

The group managed to connect the hideaway to the electricity grid and install a computer connected to the net.

Klausmann and his crew are connaisseurs of the Parisian underworld. Since the 1990s they have restored crypts, staged readings and plays in monuments at night, and organised rock concerts in quarries. The network was unknown to the authorities until 2004, when the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant, under the Seine. They have tried to track them down ever since.

Via Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber.

Sliding Down the Razor’s Edge

Razor filled in a few holes in the Battlestar Galactica story as well as opened up a few new ones that promise to be really exciting. While it was nice to go back and see what happened on Pegasus during the Cylon attack and especially nice to see how Cain became the hard ass we met in Season 2, the real thrust of the story didn’t get moving until we got to the Old school Cylons. That story is going to be the corner stone of season 4 and I for one can’t wait. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Continue reading “Sliding Down the Razor’s Edge”

Annual Turkey Day Film Festival and Review

It was a movie-filled weekend here for Thanksgiving. We watched a lot of oldies on DVD: The Thing from Another World, Charade, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (which my Mom had never seen!), Forbidden Planet, and The Day The Earth Stood Still.*

We also went to see Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, which is as bad as it sounds. How bad? You know all those great whimsical movies like Edward Scissorhands** and Amelie? Well, when writing those, innevitably there’s going to be a few plot threads or scenes that just don’t work. For whatever reason, they may seem like good ideas until you put them on aper. Then you read them and go, “Oh nevermind that’s shit. Scrap that.”

Mr. Magorium is all those leftover scenes that didn’t work in other movies, but filmed. None of it made much sense, the characters all dropped their motivations half way through and then it ended. Which was the best part. Leave whimsy and fairy tales to the experts, please.

My brother-in-law, Miguel saw Beowulf and said it was like Shrek, only with blood and gore. Make of that what you will.

_________

* Probably the single best Science fiction film ever. I see no reason to remake it, especially with Keanu Reaves as Klaatu.

** Which came out seventeen years ago. There are seniors in High School who were not yet born when that movie came out. Now, get off my lawn!

Helping People is Socialism

The modern day Conservative Movement has convinced millions of otherwise smart and sensible Americans that to help their neighbors and fellow citizens is an evil so profound as to be neigh on par with that age old bogeyman, Socialism. Children shouldn’t have health care, the President, a pro-family Christian, told us, because… well, he never really did say why. But he implied that if lower middle class children got used to having ready access to health care, then poor children and even adults would expect to have access to health care that borders on the Universal and well, we all know how bad that is. Just look at France! With their lower infant mortality rates, longer life expectancy and lower rates of obesity and chronic illness, plus all those doctors on call 24/7, why it’s a veritable Hell of Socialized Medicine! It’s a wonder that the French don’t flock across the ocean for our American style, sub par health care with it’s built in hidden fees, byzantine bureaucracy and outrageous prescription costs.

Meanwhile, Bush and his cronies in the Federal Reserve are debating how much money they’re going to use to bail out the banks who are floundering under a wave of defaulted mortgages. I mean, it’s not like they’re sick kids here, these are bankers! And they need our help!
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In An Asylum Full of Napoleons, He’s the One Convinced He’s Joan of Arc

Over at Making Light, I’ve been taking part in a spirited discussion of the Ron Paul Phenomenon. It’s good to know I’m not the only person baffled by the popularity of this Libertarian Kook (and among otherwise liberal folk, too!) Seriously, do we need another religious nut from Texas with a hard on for an unrestrained Free Market in the White House? Just because he’s ostensibly against the Iraq War doesn’t make him sane. It just makes him the most lucid weirdo in the GOP.*

Continue reading “In An Asylum Full of Napoleons, He’s the One Convinced He’s Joan of Arc”

No Rain

As you may have heard, we’re having a bit of a drought here in Georgia. It’s not so bad in Savannah as it is in Atlanta. We just can’t water our lawns, while Atlantaians are about 90 days away from running out of water altogether. And what is Governor Sonny Purdue’s solution? Why, to ask people to pray for rain, of course.

What the Fuck, Sonny. Seriously. Pray for rain? That’s your bright idea? Not, hay guys maybe we should conserve water? Or hay, could someone loan me a few truck fulls of water? Or, anything sensible? No, let’s just hope it all works out.

Oh, and Phil Plait makes a funny at our expense.

I’ve got to get the fuck out of this state.

Strike!

If you’re wondering what this whole WGA writer’s strike thing is all about, but only have enough time to go one place to get the low down, you could do worse than stopping by John Roger’s place over at Kung Fu Monkey. If you have the time though, also drop by Ken Levine‘s and Jane Espenson ‘s sites.

As dedicated fans of good writing and good TV and film, we owe it to the WGA to support them any way we can. If you live in LA or New York, swing by the picket lines and give them a honk of support. Bring them water or Pizza or just say thank you. Send a letter or e-mail to the studios or your local paper, or write it up on your blog.

Writers deserve to be paid for their work. That”s what the strike is all about.