Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry X-Mas!



Wishing everyone a happy and safe happy holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just let MTV die, dammit!

If you're one of the big ups in MTV and you've just rapidly discovered a drop in ratings by 23% and that it's the 12-23 age group that's leaving, do you:

A. Suggest that the network cut back on the reality TV crap that's overrun the channel and go back to what made MTV a generational phenomenon....playing more music videos

or

B. Increase production of more mindless crap realty TV shows?

In a perfect world, A would be the more logical choice, but don't tell that to the executives, since they're creating more reality TV shows....sixteen to be exact.

The cabler's recent ratings declines include a 23% fourth-quarter drop in its core demo of 12- to 34-year-olds. So MTV is embarking on a major programming overhaul, with 16 new unscripted series over the next 4½ months.

The series come from high-profile producers including Sean Combs, Matt Stone & Trey Parker, Donald Trump and Nick Lachey. And they represent a major thematic shift for the channel -- more toward the meta-scripted reality of MTV's "The Hills," one of the cabler's few success stories these days.

Yes, exactly what we need: more idiotic reality TV shows that completely defeat the purpose of MTV (hint: Justin Timberlake said it during his acceptance speech at the MTV VMA's a few years ago.)

Look, some of the realty show you guys put out were great (think The Osbournes and The Real World), but you also used to play music videos 70%-90% of the time. I can't even remember the last time you guys once had a music video for any artist, rapper, or rock band on your program, for God's sake! I have to on You Tube or watch VH1 for a music video nowadays.

It looks like the executives at MTV aren't going to bother with going back to playing videos, so here's a bit of advice to the Democratic Congress in Washington D.C.: if and when MTV goes bankrupt and the execs are on their knees, begging for a bailout, laugh. Laugh long, hard, and with complete amusement. Hell, piss your pants and hold back tears from your uproarious giggle fits, then tell em to fuck off for wasting your valuable time with your plea for help. Maybe that might be the file lit under their asses to actually play some goddamned music videos for once!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Man's Dirty Laundry

So this came to me a few weekends ago, this tale of a man's shame and guilt of cheating on his girlfriend with another woman, and for once, no songs helped me write this poem.

I woke up yelling
Threw my remote at the mirror
Couldn't bear to look at myself dead in the face
I couldn't believe what I had done
I'd stupidly fell for the passionate night
I knew was completely wrong.


The stains on the bedroom sheets
From me and my one-night lover
It might as well have been blood
Left of the scene of a murder
Or from the remains of a devastating flood.


So I'll take the dirty sheets
Over to the laundry mat
Off on Dustin and Bay
I'll be there trying to wash my sins away
I'll be there washing my shame away.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Top 10 Dumbest Events and People in 2008 - Part Two

Here's Part II of the top 10 dumbest events and people in 2008. I'll have the full list posted at Banned and Dangerous Ministries sometime over the weekend, but for now, sit back and enjoy!

6. John Edwards & Elliot Spitzer - Every year, we get a few politicians who become the contradiction of their principles. Edwards and Spitzer are no different....well almost. The Governor of New York cheated on his significant other with the traditional prostitute, who just happened to be worth $5,000 an hour (that's not how much he got paid at the end of her services, that's how much she's receiving as long as she's with the customer!) In my opinion, if you're paying $5,000 for meaningless sex with a whore, she'd better be hotter than Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson combined, so you say to yourself, 'yeah, I may be a scumbag for fucking someone that wasn't my wife, but it was worth every pleasure-filled moment.' John Edwards' offense was much worse, though: he cheated while his wife while she was in remission....during the campaign. And to cap it all off, the woman she was cheating on with isn't even that decent-looking!

At any rate, these two are class 'A' morons of the first order, and it should put the rest of these politicians who preach family values and morality on the rest of voters. You want to prove to us that you have family values? Lead by example.

7. Gov. Rod Blagojevich - To quote Thom Yorke: "You had to piss on our parade/You had to shred our perfect day." Just what the fuck were you thinking, Governor, selling off President-Elect Obama's senate seat off to the highest bidder? Dude, we just had a historic win a month ago, and before Obama can take the Oath of Office, the Repubs will try and hang your mess around his neck! Did this even cross your mind, you selfish asshole?

8. Heidi and Spencer from The Hills - They're sadly my generation's version of Bonnie and Clyde, and we owe our thanks (or our hate mail) to MTV for making this possible. How these two even became famous is about a mystery to me as how Americans could have possibly voted for George W. Bush twice. Anyway, Speidi (the combination of Heidi and Spencer) bombarded just about every gossip rag this year, from the 'OMG, did u hear wat Heidi said about LC on 'The Hills' last night?! texts and blogs we read, to their wedding, there was almost no escape from Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

9. The Republican Party - I've gotta hand it to the GOP: you guys went all out for this one. The Spears/Hilton celebrity ad? Nice. Choosing Sarah Palin as the your party's running mate? Her speech at the convention was a great work of political theater. Joe the Plumber? With the wind at your backs and a shiny object desperately needed to rally idiot America to your candidate? Well played. And as always, scaring the daylights out of Americans is always a nice touch for any party about to have their asses handed to them on a silver platter. You guys made the stupid list for one simple reason: did you honestly believe, that for one minute, playing the politics of division and fearmongering would actually work?? You should have realized two elections ago that, unless you rejected the Karl Rove-playbook of divide and conquer, you would loose in a big way come 2008. So let's give the GOP a box of chocolates and roses for not learning from their mistakes in 2006!

10. Blogs for Victory.com - Rounding out the list is a fringe right-wing website that the Count and I have monitored thought the election season.

Trust me, these guys are off their rockers. Here's a taste of some of their diatribe:

Naziism 2.0

Why A Liberal is Unpatriotic

Is the Obama Presidential Seal Illegal?

Here's the link to read more of their nonsense, and you'll see why Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan made the list.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Top 10 Dumbest Events and People in 2008 - Part One

If you were to tell me at the beginning of the year that a black man with a shitty last name would ascend to the Oval Office, that Eli Manning would produce one of the greatest upsets in NFL history late in the fourth quarter against the Perfect Patriots in Glendale, AZ, that the Tampa Bay Rays would be the AL Champions and that the Republicans could produce a candidate dumber than both Dan Quayle and George Bush Jr., I would have looked at you like you were high on weed and blow.

All of that happened this year. Shit.

For all of the amazing moments that occured, there was a fair amount of jaw-dropping stupidity and WTF moments galore, so here's my list of the dumbest things to come out of 2008.

1. Joe the Plumber - How do you try and win over the voters of America amidst an economic meltdown of historic proportions and a desire for a change in Washington D.C.? If you're Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain, you'd probably trot out some symbol to rally the ignorant masses of redneck America and con a few independent voters into buying the symbol of the everyday American. How did this man end up as my pick for the dumbest thing to come out of the crazy year that was 2008?

First - within 24 hours of John McCain toting out Joe the Plumber at the third presidential debate, we learned that Joe wasn't really a plumber; never applied for either a plumbing license, or a apprenticeship license. Hell, his name wasn't actually Joe (his real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher).

Second - despite the fact that Joe was nothing but a false symbol for McCain to trot out for the debate, the campaign still made Joe into this larger-than-life caricature/rallying cry for idiot America. They even made an ad using the famous "I am Spartacus!" phrase from Ben-Hur, with the cry of "I am Joe the Plumber!" to reel in voters. More to the point, the latest smoke-and-mirrors job the GOP pulled just goes to show that in this country, after eight years of lies and manipulations from Bush & Co., there's still a sucker born every minute.

2. The Wall Street/Economic Crisis - After the disasters in Iraq and New Orleans, after the shameful reports of torturing suspected terrorist detainees at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, after the shocking abuses of power ranging from the nine fired U.S. Attorneys becasue they refused to be loyal to Clueless George to the NSA Wiretapping program, we didn't think this walking disaster we had to call "Mr. President" for eight years had one more giant fuck-up in him before he rode off back to the ranch in Crawford. As it turns out, he did. Our economy is in freefall, many thanks to the billions spent in fighting a meaningless war in the Middle East and Bush's 'brilliant' idea of handing out tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. Heck of a job, Bushie!

3. Sarah Palin - To state that the Governor of Alaska is the dumbest person to be chosen as a party's running mate since Dan Quayle, would be an insult to Dan Quayle himself. John McCain's selection of Palin can be described in football terms: his hailmary pass down the endzone was throw perfectly, but the ball was knocked out of the receivers hands by the safety. We all know why this woman makes the list: the interviews she gave to Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, her performance at the VP Debate with Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden, her shocking ignorance of the role of the Vice President, and the fact that she loves killing animals atop of a helicopter, using a high-powered rifle. The selection of Sarah Palin also outlines the complete and total cynicism dripping from the GOP: prop up a knuckle-dragging foot soldier for the extreme base of the party name, dress its puppet up as either good ol' holmetown boy or gal, and just for good measure, make the candidate of choice sound simple and stupid, and the American citizen will lap it up.

4. The Jonas Brothers - Jesus Christ. Jesus fucking Christ Almighty! Please people, quit referring the Jonas Brothers as band! They're not a fucking band, they're just product placement from Walt Disney. Real bands like Radiohead and Coldplay and Death Cab For Cutie have the following ingredients: talent (Death Cab), a sound that, although borrowed or inspired from other bands, is entirely their own (Coldplay), and strives to put out albums that are are as good, if not better, than their predecessor (Radiohead). The Jonas Brothers have none of these ingredients. They're just teeny-bopper magnets designed to suck out a twelve year old's allowance and suck out money from the ATM of mom and dad through the middle school girls of America. Where's John Lennon, Tupac and Johnny Cash when we need them the most?

5. Sandy Alderson (C.E.O., Padres) and A.J. Smith (Chargers General Manager) - what could these three geniuses have in common? Both have taken the home team Padres and Chargers from competitive playoff bound teams to a bunch of overrated athletes and ghastly, embarrassing seasons we wish, as San Diego sports fans, could forget. Both men have made boneheaded moves when it came to coaching a team.

In the case of Alderson, it was when he fired fmr. Friars skipper Bruce Bochy because he told Sandy to but out when it came to managing his team. As soon as San Diego was bounced out of the postseason to the soon-to-be World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals in four games, Bruce was told to hit the road and brought in a yes-man in Bud Black.

With A.J. Smith, his ego fits with then Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer reached a fever pitch after San Diego lost a heartbreaker to no. 4 seed New England in the AFC Divisional Playoff game when Marty wanted to bring in his brother to replace Wade Philips as Defensive Coordinator instead of the awful Ted Cottrell. Marty was sacked in January of '07, and brought in a head coach who A.J. could play nice with: Norv Turner.

These two will soon share another similarity if they don't get their respective teams back on track: spots in the unemployment line.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

That's all folks

With San Diego losing to the Steelers 11-10 today, the Chargers can all but kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.

Positives:
- LT's looking better: 18 carries for 54 yds & a TD isn't a whole lot to brag about, but remember, he is playing with a injured toe and he's not the explosive running back that set the NFL single-season record for most rushing TD's, but with time, he'll be back to full strength.

- Finally the defense came alive (at least thought the first three quarters) today.

Negatives:
- The Broncos beat the Falcons 24-20 today, now sitting atop a two-game lead in the AFC West, and San Diego needed a win to stay one game behind. Denver had to choke the rest of the way in order to clinch the title and the fourth seed in the playoffs.

- Philip Rivers, for lack of a better word, sucked in this game. Two pics and a safety coming in the 1st quarter.....come on, Philip, you're better than this.

- Receiving was abysmal - nuff said.

- No matter how this season ends, the 09 campaign will be a make-or-break year for both Norv Turner and Philip Rivers. San Diego doesn't make the playoffs next time round, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if on of them, or both, were run out of town on a rail. The person who should be worrying about his job right now is A.J. Smith. All his controversial moves - from firing Marty Schottenheimer, to replacing Drew Brees for Rivers - are coming full circle on him. If anyone should be worried about finding a new job, it's the Chargers GM. Plus, I respect both Rivers and Turner after what they did last season, and to an extent, I believe they take a lot of unnecessary blame from the fans.

The best the Bolts can do is play for next season and finish strong, preferably a 10-6 or 9-7 finish to end the regular season. Other than that, there's not much else the Chargers can do but hope that New England, Buffalo, Baltimore, and Indy slip up for the Wild-Card spots.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Best. Week. Ever!

No doubt, this was the best week ever.

First reason:



"That one" - as John McCain so eloquently put it - is our nation's 44th - and first African-American - President of the United States. Way to go, America!!!!

And, for your viewing pleasure, watch Fox News call Ohio for Obama while Karl Rove explains that McCain needs it in order to win!

Next reason:



Chargers win a nail-biter at home against Kansas City, 20-19!

Go Chargers!!!

Once again: Best. Week. Ever.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chargers sack Ted Cottrell

About fucking time as well.

SAN DIEGO (AP)—Norv Turner, of all people, came up with the San Diego Chargers’ hardest hit in weeks when he fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell on Tuesday.

Cottrell was sacked by the head coach in large part because his defense couldn't get to opposing quarterbacks, the most glaring shortcoming for a unit that has had little spark since losing star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman to season-ending knee surgery after the first game.

Cottrell was replaced by inside linebackers coach Ron Rivera, a Super Bowl winner with the Chicago Bears in 1985. Rivera will have the bye week to figure out why the Chargers (3-5) have underperformed.

“Probably the things that we have needed to improve in are the same things that affected us in Week Two and so on,” Turner said. “The same things have been an issue throughout the first eight games, at different times.”

Any kind of week-to-week improvement “hasn’t been there,” Turner said. “We’ve been inconsistent and we’ve had the same things happen to us over and over in terms of teams throwing for a lot of yardage early in games, making big plays in the passing game and keeping the football.”

Cottrell was a sorry-ass fucking piece of shit Defensive Coordinator for San Diego, the worst we've ever had, if you ask me. How this asshole ever took Wade Phillip's brilliant, aggressive 3-4 defense and made a group of football payers who couldn't plug up holes against a pee-wee football team is beyond me. Cottrell was to San Diego's Defense as was that former Nebraska coach the Count hated so much.

Adios, fuckface.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

At the end of the day

I may have have come to a kind of realization:


Life is going to suck at times. It's going to fling a pile a shit at your face whenever it gets the chance.



The trick is how you handle it when it eventually does.



You can sit in complete misery, mortified that life just flung a nice steaming pile at your face, or you could just accept it, clean your face off, and fling your own personal artillery right back.



At the end of the day, it's about living with yourself and feeling comfortable with the skin you're in.



I'm not into the party scene; i'm not going to be the guy with the crazy stories of drunken night at a friend's house.



I'm not a black prince charming, or better yet, some Chris Brown hunk. I never will be.



What I am, though, is an alt/indie rock loving, pissed-off, eighteen year-old college student from Southwestern College, trying to find his footing, his crowd, and a job for the holidays.



And I got to learn to quit fighting it and embrace it.



I can continue to wallow in self-pity over what I don't have, or I can just continue to be me and every day give a big-old 'fuck you' to karma, until he pays my ass back (which eventually, he will. Karma always finds a way of doing so).



Someone once to told me the Universe was trying to speak to me, and I had to listen to what It was trying to say.



Maybe this was It was trying to say.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Random Questions: Because I Need To Do One Edition

It's been way too long since I did one of these, so here I go with another segment of Random Questions!

- Speaking as an upcoming first-time voter, let me direct my first question at Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain: Sarah Palin?? As your running mate? As your no.2, God forbid something happens to you, should you take the Oath of Office on January 20? Are you fucking kidding me?? You said she, like you, was a 'maverick.' What I see in her is the cynicism the GOP has been betting on since 2000: prop up a knuckle-dragging foot soldier for the extreme base of the party name (the equivalent of a living, breathing bobble-head doll if you ask me) and dress him or her up as good ol' boy or gal, and, just for good measure, make him or her sound simple and stupid, and the American citizens will lap it up because the candidate reflects their mindset: ignorant, and proud of it! In these rapidly changing and troubling times, we don't need another political we can kick back and have a beer with (or in this case, hunt and shoot animals with a rifle from atop of a helicopter), nor can we afford the same kind of incompetent and clueless leadership the Republican Party offered us with George W. Bush for the last eight years. Senator McCain, the fact that you would even resort to this kind of cynical ploy clearly states that you're not, as your slogan claims, putting "Country First".

- Why are these stupid Saw movies still being made? We got it the first time: a psycho murder takes his victims and puts them into the equivalent of hell - survive Jigsaw's sick and disgusting games, and you live. This isn't scary.....hell, this isn't even entertaining. It's torture pornography (the kind our current Vice President probably has a wet dream about) for people who love to watch poor bastards have their heads ripped off by some bizarre metal contraception. By the way: this similar kind of sociopath murderer has already been done before - his name was Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.

- How can John McCain say, after the Republicans have fucked things up through failed economic policies, dragging America into an unnecessary war in the Middle East, sitting on their asses after Hurricane Katrina passed through New Orleans for weeks on end, and expanding the role of governmental powers after the tragedy of 9/11 (the Patriot Act, the NSA Wiretapping Controversy, Guantanamo Bay) that the answer to our problems is......even less government, fewer taxes, and more deregulation! Earth to John McCain, Reagan's ideals of getting government out of the private sector, letting big business do what they do, and the wealth will overflow to the middle class, hasn't worked! The current economic crisis we're facing should have finally put to rest the trickle-down theory, but here you are parroting the same bullshit. Exactly who are you trying to dupe, John? Here's the video that inspired the random question.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Coming Attractions: Movies of 2009

With the 2008 movie season winding down, as a public service announcement, here's my preview list of the movies to see, to skip, and to make your own judgment on in 2009:

The Essentials:
Watchmen (March 6) - At the top of my list of must-see movies of 2009 is Zack Snyder's Watchmen, based on the celebrated graphic novel by Alan Moore. I absolutely adored the comic book and the complex psychological profiles on Rorschach, The Comedian, and Dr. Manhattan, and I can't wait to see if Snyder can do the book justice. Smart money's that he probably can't, but there are a few things going for him: a.) the trailer looks fantastic and b.) Snyder made the insanely cool 300, what strange and marvelous fun this could be to watch him try.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 19) - As fans of the phenomenon that is the Harry Potter books and movies, I was disappointed that our favorite boy wizard was put on hiatus until July of next year, but that doesn't mean i'm less than excited to see what dark magic will be brought to the table. Keep your eye on young Hero-Finnes Tiffin, the nephew of Ralph Finnes, who plays the young Tom Riddle, who gives me the creeps after watching the trailer of him as a younger Voldemort. And Alan Rickman will finally get his due in this movie as Snape. If you've read book Six, you'll understand why.

Ashecliffe (October 2) - Fresh off his 2006 long-overdue Directing Oscar for The Departed, Martin Scorsese reunites with Leonardo DiCaprio on an adaptation of the 2003 novel "Shutter Island" by Dennis Lehane. Don't know much about the movie or the book, and frankly, I don't care. It's frickin' Scorsese. Expect nothing less than fucking magic from him.

Worth mentioning: Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson returns to the director's chair in The Lovely Bones (October 9), a film adaptation of a novel of the same name by Alice Sebold; Spike Jonze's long-awaited adaptation of the beloved children's story, Where The Wild Things Are (October 16); and Wes Anderson's first entry into both an animation and a family movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox (November 6).

The Wild-Cards:
Angels and Demons (May 15) - One one hand, I enjoyed Ron Howard's adaptation of Dan Brown's worldwide hit novel, The DaVinci Code and it didn't fully deserve a lot of the negative criticism it received. On the other hand, do I really sit through another two-and-a-half-hour rehash of Indiana Jones meets long-winded religious psychobabble as part of my summer at the movies?

G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra (August 7) - I what you're thinking: this has 'fucking horrible' written all over it. The man behind the director's chair is Steven Sommers, the man behind the awful Van Helsing, and it's based off another popular toy franchise. Yet the casting choices says otherwise. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (an underrated talent) who was stellar in last year's The Lookout and the always reliable Dennis Quaid give me reason to believe this won't be a horrible piece of shit.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (June 26) - I loved the first Transformers movie. Coincidentally, it's one of the few things hack director Michael Bay hasn't managed to completely fuck up (previous semi-watchable Bay affairs include The Rock, Bad Boys, and the first half of The Island). Somehow, I don't think Bay's gonna continue his streak of producing a decent, watchable movie. That, and he's already dipped his feet into sequel territory and failed miserably (Bad Boys 2, anyone?).

More Unknowns: The fourth entry in the Terminator franchise, Terminator: Salvation (May 22). Sure Christian Bale's playing John Connor, but McG's (The awful Charlie's Angels and its piss-poor sequel, Full Throttle) directing it; Fast And Furious (June 12) - Do we really need another one of these movies? Sad thing is that i'll probably shill money to this latest installment becasue I love fast cars and sexy women driving them. Damn, this franchise knows it's audience down to a 'T'; A Christmas Carrol (November 6) - Jim Carrey as Mr. Scrooge?! Either this will bomb, or this will be a return of Carrey's golden days as a comedic actor.

The Godawful:
Hanna Montana: The Movie (April 10) - No, i'm not joking. They're actually going to make a full-length motion picture based off the rubbish TV series. So if you have a daughter that is in love with Miley Cyrus, be prepared to mark down April 10 as the day you enter the gates of teeny-bopper hell.

Dragonball (April 4) - When I heard that 20th Century Fox was planning to make a film version of the popular anime series, I damn-near wet myself. Then, they released the production pics, then the trailer. The people who made this suck-fest, and the actors who decided to partake in it, should be ashamed of themselves.

Friday the 13th (February 13) - Haven't we seen enough of this crap already? Look, I love Jason Voorchees as much as the next person, but the American Horror movie's track record since the mid 90's just plain sucks. I'm willing to bet this updated version of the mass murderer from Camp Crystal Lake will suck like the rest.

The Pink Panther 2 (February 6) - Can someone please explain to me just what the hell happened to Steve Martin that he's stuck insulting the great Peter Sellers' iconic role as the clueless French inspector Jacques Clouseau for a paycheck?

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's official: Sarah Palin scares the living shit out of me

Out of all the gaffs, the cringe-inducing interviews, and the revelation that she's a certifiable Jesus freak, if there's a final consensus on why this woman should not be anywhere near the Vice-Presidency, let alone, the Oval Office, it's her comments during the VP debate about the role of being the Vice-President.

I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.

Uh, Sarah? Few things:
1.) the Constitution doesn't say that.
From Section 3 of the Constitution:
"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States."

2.) Exactly how is wanting to change the Constitution to allow the Vice President more executive power the kind of change leadership Americans are looking for? We've just endured eight years of a Vice President who's acted as if he's above the law or the duties described in the Constitution!

This country doesn't need another four years of a power-hungry ambition mentality running amok in D.C....especially in the Office of the Vice Presidency.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pop Culture Presentation: "Rear Window" and "Disturbia"

My pop culture report is on Rear Window and Disturbia.

Rear Window is a 1954 mystery/suspense film directed by one of the most famous names in film history, Alfred Hitchcock. It stars James Stewart as L.B. Jefferies, a photojournalist confined to his apartment in New York due to breaking his foot while covering a sporting race. Jeffires begins to watch his neighbors conduct their normal activities across a courtyard thought the summer, until be becomes interested in on of his neighbors, Lars Thorwald (played by Raymond Burr) when his bedridden wife suddenly goes missing. His physical therapist, Stella (Thelma Ritter) and his girlfriend, Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly) at first, condemn Jefferies for spying on the neighbors, but reluctantly begin to watch Lars when he is seen cleaning off a saw and a large knife, leading the three to believe that Thorwald murdered his own wife.

Disturbia, on the other hand, is a 21st century updated version of the classic Hitchcock thriller, directed by D.J. Caruso and stars Shia LeBeouf as troubled teen Kale Brecht serving three-months house arrest for decking his Spanish teacher for bringing up his father's death. Kale is cut off from most electronic devices (iTunes account, XBOX Online gaming account, television in his room) and resorts to watching his neighbors through his room with a pair of binoculars. Much like the character Jeffereis in Rear Window, he begins to grow suspicious of one of his new neighbors, Robert Turner (played by David Morose) when the dent on his classic Ford Mustang match the same police reports of a serial killer's car in Austin, Texas. He enlists the help of his friend, Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) and the new neighbor teen, Ashley (Sarah Roemer) to watch if Mr. Turner is actually the same serial killer from Austin.

Similarities
Both Rear Window and Disturbia follow the same overall gist of the story:
-Both the lead male protagonists are confined to their homes and resort to spying on their neighbors for entertainment.
-Both become suspicious about one of their neighbors one night and assume that they are murders.
-Both enlist the help of their friends and love interests to help solve the mystery of the suspected neighbors.
-Both suspicious neighbors turn out to be serial killers.

Differences
As you may have noticed from the movie posters above, the most obvious difference between Hitchcock's Rear Window and Caruso's Disturbia is generational.
-Rear Window was released in 1954 during the Cold War and at the heights of McCarthyism, perhaps suggesting that ordinary citizens must always remain watchful of their neighbors.
-Distrurbia was released last year, during the growing popularity of social networking sites such as You Tube and Facebook.

Another glaring difference is the target audience.
-When Rear Window was released in 1954, most of the actors (with the exception of Grace Kelly) were in their late 30's to early 50's, perhaps suggesting that the movie's target audience was more toward middle-aged Americans.
-Disturbia, given that the film's star was probably in his early 20's when released, was geared toward a younger audience group, probably high schoolers to young adults.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

And somehow, Obama is considered the elitist

This is interesting.

When you have seven homes, that's a lot of garages to fill. After the fuss over the number of residences owned by the two presidential nominees, NEWSWEEK looked into the candidates' cars. And based on public vehicle-registration records, here's the score. John and Cindy McCain: 13. Barack and Michelle Obama: one.

Let's recap.

Barack Obama - grew up with a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya who was never around; lived off of food stamps during his childhood; had to work his ass off to get to Harvard and served as president of the Harvard Law Review; worked as a community organizer in the southside of Chicago when he could have been working for Wall Street = he's an elitist snob who looks down on Middle America!

John McCain - married to a $100 million booze heirs and owns part of the Arizona Diamondbacks; has seven homes in different time zones, with 13 different types of vehicles; said multiple times that "the principles of our economy are strong" even though this week, Wall Street dipped almost 500 points on Tuesday, then 450 points on Thursday, and had some big banks go down in flames this week as well; have your economic adviser call Americans "a nation of whiners" when the economy's in the tank = a champion of the working class!

It just doesn't make any sense.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oh crap: A blog about loneliness

It's my 800 lb. gorilla in the room: reminiscing on missed opportunities, what could have been if X and Y happened to me, mentally screaming at myself for being painfully bad in social situations, and feeling trapped inside my own subconscious prison, still trying to find a way out, all the while listening to Coldplay, Death Cab, Radiohead, and the Garden State Soundtrack to try and emotionally numb myself.

Lather, rinse, repeat. A broken cycle of which I don't see any end to.

Maybe it's time that I see a shrink.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Republican 9/11 "Tribute" Video

I knew that the GOP wouldn't go down without a fight in this presidential election, but I never imagined they would stoop to this unimaginable, unthinkable, and revolting low to get John McCain elected. During the final night of the Republican Convention in St. Paul, the RNC put together a 9/11 "tribute" video to honor those who perished and those who risked their lives to save others.

But this was no tribute to those fallen victims, nor was it a tribute to the heroes of that hellish day.

It was noting more than a piece of political and emotional propaganda, stringing together the '79 Iranian Hostage Crisis to show that Iran is part of our global War on Terror, and using the deaths of fellow Americans to make the case that if John McCain isn't elected in 2008, we're all going to be hit by the terrorists again.

Even more appalling than the video itself, was that at the end of the two minutes of hate showing, people actually applauded and broke into a mindless chant of "USA! USA! USA!"

How the heck can anyone in that audience clap for a video that managed to a.) exploit the pain and tragedy of a horrific event to scare Americans into voting for their candidate and b.) imply that Iran is part of the War on Terror to score cheap political points is just amazing.

Here's the video "tribute" along with MSNBC'S Keith Olbermann's response to the tape.

Shame on you GOP.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Shit! It's really been over a month

Since I've posted anything over here? Geez, i've been getting lazy.

Well, there's a couple reasons for the long stretch of time w/out an update:

First reason - I've just started at Southwestern College and so far, it's been an eye-opening experience. Example: you show up late for a class or flat-out don't attend, your ass gets dropped. So far, it's been interesting, and the classes i'm taking (with the exception of Math 20) are filled with interesting conversations someone like me can really get into, which leads me to the classes i'm taking: Intro to Media 101, Political Science 101, Math 20, and English 114.

Second reason - More episodes of depression. There have been days where I could just sit at this screen, ready to write but say 'fuck it' and give up on whatever I was about ready to say. It sucks, but I just have to keep fighting through that shit. There's not much I can do. We all have our down days, we just need to find a way to make it through the day with our heads held high.

Enough about that, though. There's so much I need to get to, so much I missed; hell, even the last week has been both exciting and embarrassing with Obama accepting the nomination in front of 85,000 people, to the desperation of McCain, choosing an unknown governor from Alaska to be his VP and lure Hillary Clinton voters to vote for a woman who stands virtually everything against issues such as climate change, a woman's right to choose, and gay marriage, to name a few, hoping they'll vote out of inconsolable rage over the reality that Hillary lost to the now Democratic nominee for president.

Oh, and football season is almost here, and I for one, can't wait for the Chargers to start playing again!

I'll have more shit to write in the coming days. (Oh, and as a side note: Newshound Off-Topic blogger, the lovely Et, Pb.D and I will be covering the Republican National Convention over at Banned and Dangerous starting tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Random Questions: People Really Know How To Piss Me Off Edition Part One

It's been a awhile, and so I present another segment of Random Questions!

- Why would you tag a deceased racist, homophobe senator's name to a bill he would have been staunchly against if he were alive? This week, North Carolina senator Elizabeth Dole earns the title of biggest dumbfuck of the week by trying to tag the late Jesse Helms' name to an AIDS bill.

Republican Senator Dole introduced an amendment to name an HIV/AIDS relief bill after the recently deceased Jesse Helms.


Uh, senator Dole....you are aware that Mr. Helms was staunchly against HIV/AIDS relief, and his comments on the subject might as well said 'those fags are the sole culprit for AIDS in this nation!'

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1987 described AIDS prevention literature as "so obscene, so revolting, I may throw up."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1988 vigorously opposed the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS research bill, saying, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1995 said (in opposition to refunding the Ryan White Act) that the government should spend less on people with AIDS because they got sick due to their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 2002 announced that he'd changed his mind about AIDS funding for Africa, but not for American gays, because homosexuality "is the primary cause of the doubling and redoubling of AIDS cases in the United States."


- Speaking of the dead senator from North Carolina, how could anyone praise the life of a man who made his name by opposing the Civil Rights movement to HIV/AIDS bills based on his racist and homophobic beliefs? That was one of the questions racing through my mind a few weeks ago when Mark Noonan and company defended and, in some cases, praised his legacy.

1. FmrMarine | July 4th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Mark

We have truly lost a great man.
May he rest in peace, and our prayers are out for his family.

21. Jeremiah | July 5th, 2008 at 1:37 am

So, you see, kjs … the leftists here, like Rana, instead of desiring to unite around good, they want to unite around evil and that’s why they jump with glee of the passing of a great and courageous leader like Mr. Jesse Helms. Wanting us to compromise to join their evil ranks.

This is the type of mentality that the leftist indoctrination is turning out country into.

God help us as a Nation.

22. Mark Noonan | July 5th, 2008 at 2:31 am

So sad the way some of you liberals just hate, hate and then hate some more…and the saddest part of it is that you hate this man Jesse Helms not because of what you found out about him, but because of what others told you about him. You hate the man who’s heart bled for the children of Africa who suffered needlessly simply because for many, many years - under conservative and liberal leadership - the United States didn’t do the rather simple and relatively inexpensive things which make all the difference in the world. You hate the man who saw the re-emergence of slavery in Africa and unlike some, refused to explain it away and insisted we do something about it. You hate him, though you know him not…

25. Mark Noonan | July 5th, 2008 at 3:18 am

bongo,

Well, we’re actually just denying the leftwing fairy tales about Helms…the stories that he was a racist politician in the 1950’s, that he worked to keep black judges off the bench…that sort of thing. Of course, the real hatred of Jesse Helms stems from two things - he tried to stop government funding for displays of Mapplethorp’s pornography and, most importantly, Helms was an unapologetic and highly effective warrior for conservatism…

Uh, Mark: it's not a "left-wing fairy tale" that Helms was a racist politician....his bigotry and his support for dictators has been well-documented and it is an undeniable fact.

From Wikipedia:

Work for Capital Broadcasting Company

In 1960, Helms joined the Raleigh-based Capitol Broadcasting Company. He was the executive vice-president, vice chairman of the board, and assistant chief executive officer. Helms daily CBC editorials on WRAL-TV in Raleigh gave him fame as a conservative commentator. The editorials, given at the end of each night's local news broadcast, made Helms famous throughout eastern North Carolina. The editorials featured folksy anecdotes interwoven with vivid conservative viewpoints. He referred to The News and Observer, his former employer, as the "Nuisance and Disturber" for its promotion of liberal views. Helms commented on the 1963 Civil Rights protests, "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights."[4] (WRAL-TV commentary, 1963) He also wrote, "Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced." (New York Times, 1981-02-08) The University of North Carolina, which had a reputation as a bastion of liberalism in the state, was a frequent target of Helms' criticism: in one editorial he suggested a wall be erected around the campus to prevent the university's liberal views from "infecting" the rest of the state. Although his editorials created controversy, they also made him popular with conservative voters, and Helms won a seat on the Raleigh City Council in 1957. He served for four years. He was on CBC until he was elected to the Senate in 1972.

Helms worked on the unsuccessful 1960 Democratic primary gubernatorial campaign of I. Beverly Lake, Sr., who ran as a supporter of racial segregation. Lake was defeated by Terry Sanford, who ran as a racial moderate willing to implement the federal government's policy of school integration.

And here's info on his support for Salvadorian dictator Roberto D'Aubuisson.

Helms had close ties to the rightist Salvadoran death squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson and was considered a main sponsor of D'Aubuisson's political party, the Nationalist Republican Alliance.[8] When confronted with evidence that D'Aubuisson ran death squads that systematically murdered civilians, he replied that "[a]ll I know, is that D'Aubuisson is a free enterprise man and deeply religious."[9]

Here's Helms and his reasons for opposing AIDS funding:

Helms was "bitterly opposed to federal financing of AIDS research and treatment".[12] Opposing the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS bill in 1988, Helms stated, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."[13] When Ryan White died in 1990, his mother went to Congress to speak to politicians on behalf of people with AIDS. She spoke to 23 representatives: Helms refused to speak to her even when she was alone with him in an elevator.[14] Despite opposition by Helms, the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Care (CARE) Act passed in 1990.

Having attempted, and failed, to block passage of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Care (CARE) Act passed in 1990, Helms tried to block its refunding in 1995, saying that those with AIDS were responsible for the disease, because they had contracted it because of their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct", and falsely claiming that more federal dollars were spent on AIDS than heart disease or cancer. [19] His opposition to the spending was consonant with his long term anti-gay rhetoric and opposition to civil rights for gay men and women generally. Helms had declared homosexuality "degenerate," and homosexuals "weak, morally sick wretches."[20]

Only in your little world could you find a morally bankrupt human being and a known homophobe/bigot, a man worth showing praise.

But hey, thanks for outlining that this is the kind of company you and your ilk choose to happily and proudly align yourselves with.

Part two of Random Questions this week.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summertime Blues in San Diego

Summertime is here;
The flowers, the trees; all are full in bloom.


So why am I unable to shake Winter's icy blues?
Why am I unable to let go of my feelings for you?


I bike to Ocean Beach tryin' hard to forget;
All the shit you've put me through.


What happened to all the fun times we shared?
I guess it was all a lie when you said, 'I love you.'


Summertime in Dayago has come;
There's no relief from the heat this day.


Tell me, why'd you throw our love away?
How could you throw my love away?


Went out with my friends Tuesday night;
at the beach party, tryin' hard to get the feelin' right.


But there you were, hangin' with your new toy;
I left the scene in tears, before I start a verbal fight.


Just was I to you?
Was I something that could easily be replaced?


Like a battery for the remote,
Or a mistake to a test question; easy to erase?


Summertime is winding down;
The summer styles are being boxed away.


Just like how you threw our love away;
Just like how you threw my love away.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Subconscious Prison

I'm like a rat trapped in a cage
In this subconscious prison of mine
No cold steel bars are necessary
When your trapped inside your mind.





There's no guards to put me back in
No barb-wire fencing to stop me from making an escape
There's only walls upon walls upon walls
Of guilt, doubt, and feelings of sickening self hate.





Behind every inmate lies a crime
A heinous act condemned by the world
But I have committed no unspeakable felony
The world left me behind, simply left me behind.





I was an outcast, a stray dog to the rest of the world
Wasn't a certain drone; said no to what didn't feel real to me
So the world put me in this hellish cell
Destined to feel shunned for an eternity.





There's no ray of sunlight in this gray cell
No light at the end of the tunnel for me
There's no release date, no sympathetic visitors to see
Nothing but the stench of self pity and fear.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Aw, not this shit again!!!

The trailer to Disney's High School Musical 3: Senior Year as just leaked. And it's basically the same crap i've watched in HSM 1 and HSM 2. And yet, I know something like this will kill at the box office.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

June Nights at the Movies

Finally, summer movies get really good. After the lackluster and somewhat disappointing start to the 2008 summer movie season, Hollywood cranks out some goodies to salivate over and over again. here's the list of the great, the awful, and the toss-ups I saw in the month of June.

Movie, best: Wall-E - Leave it to Pixar to show everyone else up when it comes to making a work of art in a summer movie season that beats the drums of mediocrity. Pixar has given us memorable movies - from Toy Story, to Finding Nemo, to last year's classic Ratatouille - but once again, they have outdone themselves yet again in this tale of a robot who's job it is to clean up after mankind leaves Earth after the mess it's made. Part heartwarming love story (the relationship between Wall-E and another robot named EVE), part optimistic dystopian story, part ode to classic sci-fi tales such as Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lucas's Star Wars, all 100% masterpiece from Disney/Pixar, and the best film so far this year.
**** stars out of ****

Movie, worst: The Happening - Remember awhile back when I said that M. Night Shyamalan was back after Lady in the Water? Turns out he wasn't. I've defended Shyamalan thought most of his career, but after this wannabe version of Hitchcock's The Birds, i'm beginning to believe that maybe he's just a one trick pony who quickly running out of tricks. The Happening has a promising opening and an idea: the eastern seaboard is hit by an environmental event in which plants release toxins that make people commit mass suicide. Unfortunately, from there, Shyamalan resorts to using the same old tricks he's used in past movies: philosophical metaphors, focusing on troubled characters, etc. It's such a shame to watch great actors in Mark Walberg and Zooey Deschanel drag in M. Night's hit-and miss disturbing eco-thriller (disturbing in the methods of how people kill themselves), but even more shameful to watch this once talented filmmaker resort himself to making shit like this.
* star out of ***

Surprise, biggest: The Incredible Hulk - Unlike The Happening which I had high hopes for, I thought this new version of 2003's boring Hulk would be a total suck-fest. But it turns out that a new director (Louis Letterier in place of Ang Lee), and a new lead actor (the great Ed Norton in place of Eric Bana as Dr. Bruce Banner and his mean, green killing machine alter ego) was just what the doctor ordered. Banner's trying to find a cure for his exposure to high levels of gamma rays, while trying to stay a step ahead of the U.S. military who'll stop at nothing to capture him and use him as a weapon for the government. Tim Roth is great as Blonsky, the militarist who wants to use Bruce's power for his own ends, Liv Tyler does the cliched loved interest and loyal partner well as Betsy Ross, Bruce's dream girl, and William Hurt is excellent as Betsy's bastard father/general who's willing to put her own daughter in prison for aiding Banner. The action sequences are exciting, but not thrilling where you actually fear a green monster and his evil arch nemesis, The Abomination, clash and create havoc and destruction over New York City. When it's all said and done though, Incredible Hulk delivers the goods, which is more than I could say for The Happening.
*** stars out of ****

Comedy Wars: Who Lost? With movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up and Superbad, and the upcoming Pineapple Express, Judd Apatow is the newly appointed comedy czar. But this month, his status has been knocked down a tad, thanks in part to him helping pen the awful Israeli/Palestinian parody, You Don't Mess With the Zohan. Apatow and Adam Sandler have a funny premise: an Israeli soldier fakes his own death in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a hair stylist in NYC. His chance comes when takes a hair styling job in.....a Palestinian-owned hair shop. Funny idea, would make for some great geopolitical humor, but the jokes just don't stick to you. That, and the script relies on too many sex jokes involving Sandler's Zohan giving old ladies happy endings. And will somebody please tell that unfunny douche Rob Schnider to quit starring in movies, for God's sake?
* 1/2 stars out of ****

Comedy Wars: Who Won? Steve Carell wins this round. His portrayal of bumbling field analyst-turned spy Maxwell Smart in Get Smart works like a charm. So what if the action falls flat at times? Carell, backed up by the lovely Anne Hathaway as femme fatal Agent 99 and (suprise!) Dwayne Johnson as Smart's friend, Agent 23, make up for it in strides of laughter and slapstick comedy.
*** stars our of ****
Runner up is another surprise: Jack Black voicing Po in Kung-Fu Panda. Sure the message of believing in yourself and you can overcome any obstacle is as old as time, but Black delivers the funny in almost every scene he's in. Add to it, wonderful martial-arts action sequences and colorful, lively animation makes tis family film a winner.
*** stars out of ***

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hellllllllloooooooo Florida! - Take Two

That's right: i'm leaving tomorrow and I will be taking a week long vacation to beautiful Orlando, Florida to visit relatives. I doubt i'll be doing any posting on the NewsHounds O/T Forum, but I will be doing my thing over at Jonathan's Corner and at Banned and Dangerous.

I'll be back on the 2 of July, folks!

Friday, June 20, 2008

iSmut: Cumming to an AT&T/Apple Store Near You!

I'm not joking when I say that the new Apple iPhone 3G will carry a new feature: the ability to watch pornography.

Apple may be golden because of the iPhone, but the soon-to-be-updated device is also increasingly the source of forbidden fruit. Steve Jobs' company is keeping a civil, if embarrassed, silence on one of the potentially most lucrative and controversial uses of its handheld jewel: porn.

Leading porn purveyors see the iPhone as a dream come true. Its relatively ample screen size, speedy Web access and ease of use are just part of it. The device's miniaturized version of Apple's Safari software simplifies mobile access and streamlines the process of tailoring dirty sites for optimal viewing on the go. "It's by far the porn-friendliest phone," says Devan Cypher, representative for San Francisco–based Sin City Entertainment. As evidence of the gadget's rocketing popularity in California's porn capital, the San Fernando Valley, numerous iPhone-specific porn sites have been launched in recent months. "There are a few hundred iPhone porn sites now in use," says Farley Cahen, vice president of business development for AVN Media Network, the adult industry's trade body. Many others are currently in the works targeting the iPhone 2.0, which goes on sale July 11.

Amazing. You can access your favorite porn sites, watch smut clips, and beat your dick off all in one shot on your iPhone.
Anyone find this utterly disturbing?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Is the Google un-American? Or: How Bush-Backers Deluded Themselves Into a State of Denial

Ever since the 9/11 attacks, George Bush and his party have tried to fight the Global War on Terror by reminding the American citizen some food for thought:

A. We're the good guys; we're going to keep you safe from the evil-doers with the funny-looking towers wrapped around their heads and the long, raggedy beards; we're gonna find 'em, and kill em, and keep this up 'till there are no more terrorists in the world.

B. Anyone who dares question our motives or our plan, to have their judgment questioned at best, branded un-American and a supporter of the terrorists, at worst.

C. The Republicans want to track down and rid the world of the terrorists, the Democrats (or Defeatocrats, moonbats, or any word combination that makes the otherside sound like a bunch of pussies), with their 'Due Process', 'the 4th Amendment of the Constitution', and their 'Habeas Corpus', are making it harder for us, the good, strong guys, to fight the GWOT, and in some cases, aiding and abetting the enemy.

D. In a time of war, it is essential that we stand by out country and our troops, but most most importantly, our commander-in-chief and we must never waver in both his decisions and his loyalty.

E. Did we forget to mention that we, the Republicans, are the ones who want to keep you safe, and the Democrats are trying to protect the terrorists becasue they hate Bush for 'winning' in 2000?

This line of horseshit has been spoon-fed, swallowed, digested, and spoon-fed again time after time for five years, until the American people did what the GOP didn't want to have happen: we caught on to this ruse and said enough was enough.

So what do you do when your meal-ticket strategy of feeding Americans a spoonful of lies and scare-tactics goes by the wayside and has run it's course? Simple - continue to use what put you on the map and pray that there are just enough Americans who are still asleep and still oblivious to what has transpired in their country for the past seven years. So it comes to no surprise to me when I read conservative lapdogs who bash other people, institutions, and other groups for not marching lockstep with Our Great Leader, even though Americans have longed tuned themselves out from hearing such trivial nonsense, thank God. Yet, I have to bring this instance of a right-wing site taking on the search engine Google, not for taking a stand against the type of fear-mongering BushCo is infamous for, but for not displaying doodles on certain holidays.
But in the last few years, as Google has grown to dominate the world of Internet search, some people have detected a more sinister motive behind its choice of days to commemorate. From the National Review to NewsBusters and InstaPundit, some of the country's most prominent conservative opinion journals and news sites have published stories and blog posts denouncing Google for subtly pushing a liberal worldview in its doodles while steadfastly refusing to commemorate patriotic or religious holidays.

Few keep a closer watch on Google than the editors of National Review. For years, they have monitored Google's doodles in search of value judgments about America. When Google ignored Memorial Day in 2006, editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg wrote on NRO's Corner, "It's kind of sad. They change their logo for all sorts of holidays and occasions. Just last week they paid tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday. But Memorial Day doesn't seem to rate anything at all." In 2007, online editor Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote, "What, no Easter? I wasn't expecting a risen Christ, but at least an Easter bunny?" Last June 6, Lopez sniffed, "So today is the D-Day anniversary. Today is the day RFK died 40 years ago. So Google is celebrating Diego Velazquez's birthday, natch."

Even when Google commemorates Independence Day, Lopez has looked for hints of a clandestine liberal sensibility. Last year, she printed a comment from a reader who claimed that the American eagle on Google's logo was clutching olive branches—but not arrows, the symbol of America's military might: "I think they've gone with a remodeled 'peace is patriotic' bumper sticker. They just couldn't bring themselves to do something 'American' without making some kind of signal about current policy."

The Google is now having it's patriotism questioned for not displaying patriotic doodles on certain holidays. What's next? Sean Hannity will dedicate a special report on a group of mothers who haven't made frosted red, white, and blue sugar cookies on Independence Day?

Nevermind that it's Google's own business whether or not to display what they choose on certain holidays, it shows just how detached and how numb these Bush loyalists are, to the point where attacking a search engine site for not doodling some form of celebrating the Fourth of July is fair game.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Random Questions: The Thoughts Running Through My Head Edition

Okay, so it's not the most original title I've come up with, but it does explain some of the personal questions i've got lined up in this segment or Random Questions, like why I still care about whether or not I have a steady relationship, or why is it so hard for me to accept the fact that i'm an engaged, passionate and angry teen and not some in-crowd packaged clone the media wants me to be.

-Why do I still care about not being in a relationship? Ever since I was in high school, I got caught up in caring about having a girlfriend and having sex to the point where a good portion of my episodes of depression were caused by wondering why did I have to feel like the third wheel? Two years, a few good friends who set me straight, and Tuesdays of seeing my psychologist later, I began to stop giving a shit about the dating game nonsense. But there are times where listening to friends and their boyfriend/girlfriend's stories of what they did over the weekend and thoughts of ending up alone and loveless haunt me. Is this what I am missing and have so longed for all this time? For a girl to love me, or to show love to someone I care about? Or am I confusing myself between love and lust?

-Why do I still feel pressured to be someone I know I clearly am not? During the end of Junior year and thought Senior year, I had long accepted that I'm not the jock, the bad boy all the girls want to be around, of the coolest kid who went to all the high school parties, but the nice, angst-ridden teenager with an axe to grind against the state of the world and the popularity contest of high school life. Yet, the thing that makes me unique feels like both a blessing and a curse. It almost seems that I grew up too fast, and I had to make a choice between being an outcast and being a carboard product placement.

More questions to come later on.....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Happening Or: What the Fuck M. Night Shyamalan?

I loved the idea of M. Night Shyamalan making his first R-rated movie, hated the piss-poor execution. Loved his premise (a catastrophic and unexplainable event in nature where people on the Eastern seaboard begin to commit mass suicide), hated how it went nowhere. Loved Oscar nominee Mark Walberg (The Departed) and cutie Zooey Deschanel (Almost Famous), hated how their roles were wasted. Loved how M. Night was going to shock us with the methods of suicide, hated how that became one sick gimmick thought the movie. And on it goes. To be fair, The Happening wasn't as terrible as Lady in the Water (I still can't get over how he roped poor Paul Giamatti into that mess), but he didn't do himself any favors by trying to make this environmental horror flick into the 21st century's version of The Birds. I am a huge fan of M. Night's work and I even defended him for The Village, but i'm beginning to think that critics might be right about Shyamalan being a one-trick pony who's running out of tricks. The sad part is that he's talented and a better filmmaker than this. I remember when his movies scared the shit out of an audience; when he used tense moments to build on our growing mounting fears. By the time I left The Happening, the question on my mind wasn't how we have taken this planet for granted, but how could Shyamalan continue to keep making movies like this?
*1/2 stars out of ****

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Random Questions: All Things Must Come To An End Edition

So here I am with with more Random Questions! This week I ask about why all good things, including high school, have to end; why Hillary supporters are threatening to vote for McCain; why is that the Japanese make better cartoon shows than us Americans; and why Hillary Clinton couldn't ran her campaign the same way she have her amazing concession speech yesterday.

- Why must all good things come to an end? After four years of tests, homework, and typical teenage angst/bullshit that I've dealt with, I have finally finished my Senior Year at Otay Ranch High School, and I will graduate less than a week from Thursday. Looking back, there are a million things I could have done different, but I wouldn't change a thing because it's all lessons learned. The people I will miss the most are my Newspaper Editorial and Regular Staff, as pictured above (Erika, Marriah, Alex, Richard; all you guys rock, and we're the best motherfucking staff ever!), and my friends (Nick, Desiree, Eric, Justin, Grant, and anyone else I left out: y'all are the greatest!). The Class of 2008 has been though some crazy stuff thought the years (the California Wildfires, that stupid Souja Boy concert, to name a few), but we've finally done it!!! Onward to whatever our futures have in store for us! Oh, and here's all the issues of the Ranch Review that have been put out this year, and don't forget to look out for yours truly!

- Why couldn't Hillary Clinton have ran her campaign the same way she gave her graceful and emotionally-charged concession speech yesterday? Clinton's speech reminded why I have always held the her and Bill in high regard all these years, and its a shame that she didn't in this nomination phase of the presidential elections. In my eyes, this is the main reason why she lost to Barack Obama: When she was down, Hillary resorted to the hit-below-the-belt tactics instead of taking the high road. Now that she's stepped down and committed herself to helping the presumptive Democratic nominee win the White House, two things need to happen: First, Obama supporters need to extend the hand of friendship to Hillary's base in a way that is respectful and shows that we're all in this race together as Democrats committed to defeating John McCain in November. The second, is the next random question that has me wondering......

- Even with Hillary bowing out, why is that some of Clinton's supporters are still threatening to vote for McCain? From Wired.com:

They're mad as hell, and Hillary Clinton's supporters aren't going to take it anymore.

Some Clintonites are so mad about Barack Obama's Tuesday victory that they've launched a web site to build support to launch a lobbying group to support Republican John McCain.

"We're going to run campaign ads to defeat Obama," says Ed Hale, a 63-year-old rancher and a Clinton supporter from Wellington, Texas. "We have doctors, lawyers, CPAs, the blue bloods, and then we have rednecks like me. It's a very diversified organization."

The apparent peeling off of a portion of Clinton's supporters from the Democratic party illustrates the difficult task party officials now face in rallying the troops behind Obama. Open dissent within party ranks provides Republicans with openings to exploit.

Hale launched the "Hillary Clinton Supporters for John McCain" group last Saturday. The campaign claims to have 5,000 supporters, and its website visitor counter says that it has already attracted 37,807 visitors.

Exactly what would be accomplished by voting for a man who sides with the Shrub 95% of the time, yet toting that even though he's basically a loyal Reagan conservative he's still the Maverick candidate of eight years ago? We'd still be in this hellhole called the Iraqi quagmire, the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% would still be in place, and we'd still be implementing the wrong fucking policies that got us to where we are right now: A country where more than 3/4ths of it's citizens believe America's on the wrong track and a world community that looks at us like we're ready to blow and raise hell. Oh, and did I forget to mention that women can kiss a right to have an abortion goodbye with a McCain presidency? Don't let bitter and hurt feelings dictate America's future.

- Why do the Japanese make better cartoons than Americans? I remember the days when American cartoon shows like Doug, Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, Invader Zim, and other cartoon shows were the shit to watch. Now I can't even stomach the crap they put now. I mean, Camp Lazlo and Danny Phantom? That's the best we can do now? Compare those shows to anime cartoons such as Strawberry Panic!, Love Hina, Tenchi Muyo!, and Full Metal Alchemist, its not even a fair fight. And the worst part is that the shows I can't stomach are hits, while I have to go on YouTube to watch Gundam Wing! Note to American cartoonists: watch shows like Full Metal Alchemist and Strawberry Panic!. You just might learn something.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

May Nights At The Movies

The May movie lineup to this season's summer movie season may have as well been a time for audiences to play catchup with their favorite characters. Some of them we have welcomed back with open arms, others we kinda wished we haven't seen again. Yet, the stand out has been.....Robert Downey, Jr.? And I fall in love with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda?! Stranger things have happened I guess.

Movie, best: Iron-Man - Robert Downey, Jr's Tony Stark shows up Speed Racer, the Pensive Kids, and Indiana Jones on how to make an entertaining, popcorn flick and still have plenty of heart. And let's not forget the great Jeff Bridges as Obediah, Stark's back-door dealing partner who never met a murderous Al-Qaeda wannabe group he didn't like. He damn-near steals the film from Downey Jr.
***1/2 stars out of ****

Movie, worst: What Happens In Vegas - Not just the worst movie i've seen in May, it's the worst movie i've seen so far this year. Watching Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz make utter fools of themselves as two strangers who enjoy one drunken night in Sin City which results in the two of them getting hitched was just so hard to sit through, even with a running time of 99 minutes. Even more shocking is that people find a story about stupid people stooping to childish lengths to reclaim a check for $3 million in Vegas to be funny. Oy vey.
Zero stars out of ****

Disappointing, biggest: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - I was somewhat reluctant of giving Narnia another shot after 2005's overrated and candy-assed The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. And after 143 minutes with Caspian, I doubt i'm signing up for Voyage of the Dawn Treader due out May 2010. It's nice how the filmmakers made this a darker, violent Narina movie, and how they give the Pensive Kids more depth from the last movie, but once again director Andrew Adamson takes a hat-in-hand approach to C.S. Lewis's epic series and finds a way of making them into a wannabe Lord of the Rings lite family movie without the heart. By the time the final battle rolls around and the action really picks up steam, it's too little and too late: you leave the theater and you don't feel a thing.
**1/2 stars out of ****

Underrated, seriously: Speed Racer - Critics jumped on the Wachowski Brother's latest groundbreaking as too much color, too little character depth, wafer-thin plot and too long of a sit for the tykes at 135 minutes. Know what? That's the whole point. Speed wasn't watched in the 60's for those reasons. It was made to entertain, and in that regard, it does it's job. Emile Hirsch, Matthew Fox, and company keep the action and the fun coming, and the visuals are drop-dead gorgeous, although your eyes might wear out from the bombardment of the parade of colors Andy and Larry throw out there. Here's a tip for watching this movie: let it all wash over you, and you'll have a great time.
*** stars out of ****

surprise, biggest: Sex and the City - I kid you not. This young, adult male fell in love with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. And I'm not ashamed of it, either. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and the four leading ladies (Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattral, Cyntia Nixon, and Christen Davis) give solid performances. Peter Travers asked guys to "Stop resisting this movie. You just might learn something." Good advice.
*** stars out of ****

Welcome back, accepted: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Even at age 66, Harrison Ford proves he's still got it. As Indiana Jones, he rarely misses a beat of the archaeologist/professor. This time, he's off to find and return a crystal skull that will grant the returner the ability to control minds, before the Soviets get a hold of it first. Shia LeBeouf tags along as Mutt, as well as Cate Blanchette as the villain. Steven Speilberg and George Lucas do a great job at keeping the film nostalgic, yet new and exciting at the same time.
*** stars out of ****

Friday, May 30, 2008

2008 Summer Movie Preview - Part Two

Here's the long-awaited second installment of the good, the bad, and the blah that major movie studios will cram down our throats this summer. Enjoy!

July Movies:

Hancock (July 2) - Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…..Will Smith as superhero/alcoholic Hancock who’s hated by everyone in L.A.! Think of this as The Incredibles, but with a darker, comedic twist. As with I Am Legend, Bad Boys II, Shark Tale, and just about every other movie he’s starred in, look for him to make a killing at the box office.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (July 11) - Rumor has it after the critical acclaim for 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth, director Guillermo del Toro turned down directing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to helm the second Hellboy movie (the job was awarded back to David Yates who did Order of the Phoenix). Bummer. He would have shot the hell out of that movie, but I digress. Ron Perlman returns as the bright-red demon ready to take on more demon-monsters. Not much is known about this sequel but if you’ve watched Pan’s Labyrinth, then you’ll know that moviegoers are in for a visual treat.

Meet Dave (July 11) – Here it is, folks: the grade ‘A’ pile of crap in an otherwise impressive resume of potential summer blockbusters. Eddie Murphy plays – wait till you hear this – an alien starship in the form of a human being which crews miniature aliens. Does this sound even remotely interesting to you? Worst of all, it’s directed by Brian Robbins, the man who unleashed 2007’s most offensive, mean-spirited comedy, Norbit. Stay away…stay far away from this mess.

The Dark Knight (July 18) - The movie event I have been personally waiting for. Director Christopher Nolan, who added soul and a darker presence in 2005’s Batman Begins, is back at the helm, along with the underrated Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. What’s in store for Bruce Wayne this time? Two new foes; the first being Rachel Doss’ (now played by Maggie Gyellenhaal) new lover and district attorney for Gotham Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), the other, a psychotic serial-killing clown, Joker (played by the late, great Heath Ledger). A new Batsuit, the Batpod, and in IMAX theatres, four action scenes, all scream awesome but the attraction is Ledger, both his passing in January and his performance which critics are calling Oscar-caliber. A fitting tribute to one of our generation’s finest actors who left us too soon.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (July 25) - What paranormal mystery will FBI agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) uncover this time? Chris Carter, the director and co-writer of this sequel, as well as the show’s creator, will never tell. So why should we give a damn? The show ended six years ago and the last movie was a decade ago. Because it’s the return of Mulder and Scully, two of the 90’s most memorable TV icons, that’s why!

August Movies:

Pineapple Express (August 8) – You can add Seth Rogen – yes, Seth Rogen – to the growing list of actors who will be kicking some butt this summer for our viewing pleasure. He and James Franco are two stoners who are after a new form of marijuana called Pineapple Express; unfortunately they are witnesses to a murder by the hands of a corrupt cop and are on the run. The Apatow team, who created last summer’s Superbad, is involved in the reefer madness. A bit of advice: If you want to know how funny this black stoner action/comedy is, watch the red-band trailer on You Tube.

Tropic Thunder (August 15) – The fact that Iron Man’s Robert Downey Jr. is playing a multiple Oscar-winning actor Aussie who had his skin surgically pigmented to play an African-American Marine in the jungles of Vietnam, shows that either this will be this summer’s most outrageous piece of satirical filmmaking, or the most offensive. Ben Stiller returns to the director’s chair (Zoolander) to take aim at the absurdity of the movie business, dealing with three ego-driven actors – Tug Speedman (Stiller), Jeff “Fats” Portnoy (Jack Black), and Kirk Lazarus (Downey Jr.) - driven to make a serious war film about the Vietnam War, only to be fighting real guerilla warfare as the shoot progresses.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (August 15) - Remember when George Lucas said he'd quit making epic space operas in a galaxy far, far away after Revenge of the Sith? Well, he's come back after prettyboy Hayden Chirstensen burned to a near-cinder and donned the mask of baddie Darth Vader, to bridge together Attack of the Clones and Sith. Good news is that Lucas wisely stayed away from the director's chair and from screenwriting duties. Bad news is that I still wouldn't pay money to watch this.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Random Questions: We All Do Stupid Shit Edition

Here we are once again, with a new segment of Random Questions! We've all done stupid things, like let our emotions get the better of us during a campaign, or say something really stupid to make an otherwise harmless political statement, or continue to leak photos of ourselves posing for the camera in a sexual nature, so here are my questions about the stupid people pull. Enjoy, and feel free to answer back.

- Why do Obama supporters (myself included) and Hillary supporters forget that either candidate would be better than the alternative of four more years of neocon policy running the Oval Office? First off, earlier this week, I made a huge ass of myself by blindly jumping on the media bandwagon over Hillary's gaff about the RFK remarks. For that, this rant is directed at myself, fellow Obama backers and supporters of the former First Lady: It's time we all grew the fuck up and put an end to this bitch-fighting. It's one thing to feel passionate about your candidate, it's another thing entirely to say we're going to vote for McCain or vote independently as atonement. And after all the talk of taking back the White House from the GOP and all the campaigning we've done, what will have voting for the other side accomplish? It's past time we ended these immature online chatroom fights and come together as one party by August in Denver whoever the nominee maybe.

- Why is Miley Cyrus stripping for the camera, again, after all the flack she took from the Vanity Fair photo shoot fiasco? Jesus girl, you are aware that there's an invention out there called "the Internet" which people can, from anywhere around the world, see you in all of your...ahem...natural beauty, right? As I said before, this ain't the first time she's stripped for the camera, and somehow I doubt it'll be the last time, either. Miley, be smart about this. You have a tweener base that looks up to you and parents who believe that you're a sweetheart with a squeaky-clean background. You're not helping your own cause by doing shit like this. Plus, there's a time and place for every young girl to get in-touch with their inner skank: we call it college, Halloweeen, and Girls Gone Wild. Now, it's all well and good to come to terms for a young girl to flirt with her sexual nature (shit, it's the reason why we have junior and senior year in high school), but in the case of young Miley, she needs to learn at leas this helpful hint: if you're going to act like a normal teenage girl who's testing her sexuality, then don't post your pictures on your MySpace for the whole damn world to see!

- Why must Hillary Clinton continue to make stupid remarks without thinking? Of course, the big story last week was the infamous remarks about Robert Kennedy and how Hill had to apologize for them. What we need to remember is that most, if not all of the time, she means to make a calculated point about her opponent, Senator Obama. Unfortunately, she hasn't shown when to stop, think about what she means to say, then go forth and make her point. Take for example, her comments about how she's winning the working class vote:

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again..."

Of course, this set off another shitstorm for Clinton, with accusations of racial undertones. Now, if Hillary had taken a moment about what she was going to say, and re-word the structure of her argument, her argument would've been something along the lines of what my efriend and Clinton supporter Kim, PbD. said:

"Obama doesn't seem to be a good closer at this point, and frankly I'm worried about his connection with the blue collar of America."

In case you haven't noticed by now, her verbal judgment has been a big factor into why she is loosing this nomination fight to Obama, and the sad thing here is that i'm certain that she means well wen she speaks (at least, I hope she means well).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton has just lost all of my respect

Earlier today I asked senator Clinton the following: Please, Senator Clinton, return to the woman that I used to know and admire.
Just two hours later, she had the nerve to say some stupid shit like this.

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it."

So this is her justification as to why she should be the nominee: Barack Obama could be assassinated, the same way Robert Kennedy was assasinated back in June of '68.
Wow.
Never mind that the statement was incredibly crass and offensive (especially when the Kennedys are going through a trying time with Edward Kennedy having a brain tumor), but the fact that she could actually stoop this low to make a case to the superdelegates to become the Democratic Party's nominee is nothing short of appalling.
This goes way past the notion that 'It's just politics as usual.'
These are the kind of comments that no politician running for public office should ever make during a campaign.
Whatever respect I had for the New York senator is now completely gone. Mrs. Clinton is no longer the strong, inspiring female politician I had come to admire, and I will no longer support her in whatever action she decides to take for herself in the future. She had her chance of at least showing some class thought the remainder of the nomination process, but I've had about all I can take from her.
Mrs. Clinton, it is time for you to put aside you pride and step down from the Democratic campaign. You have embarrassed the party, and yourself, for long enough.
Update: Here's Keith Olbermann and his Special Comment on her remarks.