Sunday, January 29, 2006

Overheard commentary about Middle Eastern political commentary

If you are in my bedroom adding water to your aquarium and you overhear someone angrily pacing and talking on the phone utter the words "mother-fucking twat monkeys," you may be fairly certain that Mason has just finished reading the New York Times' editorial commentary about Middle Eastern political goings on and is now discussing it with some poor soul. Today it was their asinine and patronizing comments about Hamas's recent political success in Palestine and what it says about the prospects for democracy in the Middle East.

Shorter James Glanz:Should we really have allowed the brown people to vote?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

john tierney still a dumbass

as I have pointed out before,john tierney is a dumbass, which of course makes him an appropriate replacement for william safire. And he is back decrying the horrors of the drug war, how it has torn minority communities apart with harsh sentencing of nonviolent offenders, he's upset because a white doctor got busted for trading oxycotin prescriptions for sex. What noble cause he has taken up, an obvious miscarriage of justice.

Bustardblog has already smacked the dork for it, so I'll just keep my trap shut.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Good As You: 'Brokeback' uber-critic books another Fox News gig

From the excellent blog Good As You I see that fox news is booking an idiot bigot fearmonger to trash 'Brokeback Mountain'.

Suprising? No.

The guy's review of the movie is just as predictable. Evil Hollywood is sneakily manipulating us to not hate homos, when if they were honest, they would really be portraying the gays as pedophiles and drug addicts. Cutting edge stuff, eh? Throw in some nazi references, cry 'what about the women and kids who got hurt?', and invoke rape. Insert anti-smoking message.

Let's look at a little section:

"Yes, the talents of Hollywood's finest are brought together in a successful attempt at making us experience Ennis's suffering, supposedly inflicted by a homophobic society. Heath Ledger's performance is brilliant and devastating. We do indeed leave the theater feeling Ennis's pain. Mission accomplished."

Credit where credit is due: he at least seems to seen the movie, unlike damn near every other retarded review I have read. But uh, "supposedly inflicted by a homophobic society"? What do you propose caused the difficulties in the film? The outcome wouldn't have been different had it been set in a homo friendly society? I guess you can also blame them for being born into socio-economic settings which didn't afford them the opportunity to escape their unfriendly surroundings and build a life in a supportive community, like I was able to, but that doesn't make the fag-hostile backdrop any less culpable for having no place for these fellows other than in the closet or in the ground.

a little more? ok:

"Lost in all of this, however, are towering, life-and-death realities concerning sex and morality and the sanctity of marriage and the preciousness of children and the direction of our civilization itself. So please, you moviemakers, how about easing off that tight camera shot of Ennis's suffering and doing a slow pan over the massive wreckage all around him? What about the years of silent anguish and loneliness Alma stoically endures for the sake of keeping her family together, or the terrible betrayal, suffering and tears of the children, bereft of a father? None of this merits more than a brief acknowledgment in "Brokeback Mountain.""

Uh, you kind of have to be special to not see all the wreckage and anguish in this movie. Alma's suffering isn't exactly whitewashed, but also, true to life, she is able to remarry. She has other places to turn, a community to support her in her pain and she and their children are not left abandoned. The community that would rip Ennis to shreds or send him packing if his pain were public offers her other opportunities to move on and have a place.

And a quick aside: the whole cult of children makes me want to strangle someone. "...the preciousness of children..."? WTF? Let me go puke.

back to kupelian:

"What is important to the moviemakers, rather, is that the viewer be made to feel, and feel, and feel again as deeply as possible the exquisitely painful loneliness and heartache of the homosexual cowboys – denied their truest happiness because of an ignorant and homophobic society."

In a perfect world, this wouldn't be a political film. It isn't specifically set up to be one. It is about doomed love like most great Hollywood romance/tragedies. That it is two men should be incidental. That is how it was filmed, that is how it comes across when you watch it. It isn't intentionally some big activist film. But anything openly gay is political, intentionally or not. Ang Lee didn't go out of his way to shove some fable about ignorant and homophobic society down our throats; we live in a largely ignorant and homophobic society and so the characters' struggles resonate and feel very real to the viewer. That isn't Hollywood magic; it is an audience whose sense of empathy and recognition aren't crippled by bigotry.

one last chunk:

"Thus are the Judeo-Christian moral values that formed the very foundation and substance of Western culture for the past three millennia all swept away on a delicious tide of manufactured emotion. And believe me, skilled directors and actors can manufacture emotion by the truckload. It's what they do for a living."

And dear sir, what do you do for a living?

As far as the Judeo-Christian moral values being swept away blah blah blah... just shut the hell up. The foundation of Judeo-Christian values are the accumulation of knowledge and the application of reason, grace, and forgiveness in interaction with others. Recognizing our own personal flaws and our common humanity. Expanding our experience and using this expansion to allow us to reach further out into the world. Sure there are other bits to Judeo-Christian values, but when you said the ones which have been integral to the fabric of Western progress for three millenia, I assume you aren't talking about the genocidal and racist chunks of the Bible. I guess not being able to exercise the previously popular Biblically-proscribed bigotries as openly as society once concidered acceptable, some folks are desperate to not conceed a last few bigotries and accept them as their own instead of scapegoating God for their lack of empathy and discomfort with 'differnt'people.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Belated Holiday Correction: Jeff Foxworthy's Celebrity Roast Only the Second Gayest Thing Ever

as an aside in a fairly recent post, I had pointed out that Jeff Foxworthy's celebrity roast was the gayest thing ever. (way down at the bottom)

I was wrong.

On Christmas Day, me and roomies M1 and M2 (neither Mason) and out of town guests watched "White Christmas" at M1's emphatic insistance. I can't remember ever seeing the movie before and didn't realize that 1)it is something of a war movie (mostly post-war, but everything comes from the central male characters having been in the war together) and 2) it is the gayest movie ever made!!!! Gayer than "Tu Wong Fu", gayer than "Jeffery", gayer than "Rocky Horror Picture Show". The. Gayest. Thing. I. Have. Ever. Seen.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

and now I am taking off to the HalfKing in Chelsea to see James Wolcott.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

a few heroes left: David Letterman

saw this on Gawker:

Dave Letterman Serves Bill O�Reilly Ass on a Plate

He is nice enough about it, but just finally calls bullshit on o'reilly's stupid war-on-christmas crap. So perhaps this might not qualify one for hero status, and he didn't exactly save a kitten from a fire but he effectively and dismissively smacked a smarmy loud-mouth idiot who talks straight out of his ass and contributes to giving morons even more moronic ideas which I at some point have to listen to in conversation. For actually standing up and saying 'oh shut up already, dumbass' to one of these blow-hards that everyone else seems too chickenshit to confront (ok, so Al Fraken smacked him all over the place and George Clooney does it just for sport), I have to give the man some credit.

I grew up on late night talk shows and always considered Johnny Carson as one of my childhood heroes. I always used to watch David Letterman too, but had a falling out with him in highschool (something which I am fairly certain that he is not aware of) when he bumped Jaques Cousteau as a guest so the goo goo dolls could jump in a giant bowl of eggnog. I didn't watch the show for five years after that (this is from someone who had previously watched him almost daily for years); I have since forgiven him. And been impressed when I find myself around to watch the show.

I have not forgiven the goo goo dolls, for Jaques Cousteau not being on the show that night or for their music. Or for the lead singer's hair cut.

UPDATE: Welcome to all the folks slipping in here from global affairs forum, even if the fine fellow who linked to us did it with kind words such as these: "While we are calling both clowns, be reminded that there are ignorant dumb asses who actually defile the term hero." I'll have my little hero of the day and you can kiss my ass. That said, contrarians always welcomed. I haven't been blogging as much lately as usual, but please feel free to look around a bit and comment as you see fit.