Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best and Worst Films of the Decade

Writing my list tonight, expanding on it (like I'm a writer or something) later:

Best of the '00s

10. The Wrestler

9. The Return of the King

8. Punch-Drunk Love

7. No Country For Old Men

6. Four Months, Three Weeks, and 2 Days

5. The Dark Knight

4. Children of Men

3. Kill Bill

2. Gosford Park

1. Once


Grandest Follies:

King Kong, Gangs of New York, Watchmen, Dogville/Manderlay, The Fountain

Most Underrated:

The Darjeeling Limited, The Life Aquatic, Hannibal, Hamlet 2, Where The Wild Things Are, Munich, Broken Flowers, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Monsters Inc, The Brothers Bloom, Blade 2, Once Upon a Time In Mexico, Death Proof

Most Overrated:

Monster, A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2, and 3, Chicago, any Ice Age or Shrek installment, 300

Best Film to Win Best Picture:

The Departed

Worst Film to Win Best Picture in the history of voting for shit:

Crash

Worst of the '00s

10. Highlander: Endgame

9. Driven

8. Fantastic Four

7. New Moon

6. Dungeons and Dragons

5. Terminator Salvation

4. The Mummy Returns

3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

2. The Lady in the Water

1. Battlefield Earth

The Aughts

If you're angry about race, but not particularly interested in understanding why, you probably like Crash. If you're black and believe in the curative qualities of yet another "dialogue around race," you probably liked Crash. If you're white and voted for Barack Obama strictly because he was black, you probably liked Crash. If you've ever used the term "post-racial" or "post-black" in a serious conversation, without a hint of irony, you probably liked Crash.

Happy New Year to you, Ta-Nehisi.

Can we throw out the bullshit this decade? Please? No? Bueller?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Attention Right-Tards

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The lib'rulz have videos of you. At long last learn.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Disgrace

No, not John Malkovich meets Coetzee. Can't wait for that one. Nope, here's the fetid list of odorous, festering bungs pried open and sprinkled with cocaine around the rim this year a la Naked Lunch (by way of explaining their puzzling success):

(God, what a year for crap)

Wolverine

It's worse than X3. Believe me. At no point does any of it follow any narrative logic. It is simply camp and only camp. As the year's best musical that contains no actual music, it's kind of great. As an X-Men movie, it's the greatest disappointment in comic-movie history. The economic kerplunk caused many films to scale back their budgets. Note the crappiest "Snnnck" in Wolverine history. Crappy writing costs nothing, that's for sure.





























Terminator: Salvation

The worst film in the franchise, again, worse than the third installment in this series, which is saying something. If it accomplished only one good thing, it might have derailed McG's "film" career. Except no, it probably won't. Among this rotten film's many crimes (aside from the worst Christian Bale performance this side of a youtube remix) is the unforgivable crime of being relentlessly boring. It's poorly written, poorly directed, and poorly executed. There is zero tension in the film from start to finish. The governator's unfortunate cameo didn't really help things along, and the movie died a well-deserved death at the box-office, taking a real war of the machines franchise with it. Blecch.

My Bloody Valentine 3D

Three dimensional titty-harm. Unpleasant, in every conceivable way. I feel that seeing this in the theaters more than counts as having also seen Final Destination 3D. Gross.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Everything that's appalling about American movies is all here. It's like watching the cinematic equivalent of truck nuts, for nearly three fucking hours. It has a few cool scenes of transformerdom, but the rest of the movie is loud, shrill, incoherent, and, shockingly, casually racist. It is also, currently, the number one movie of the year, domestically, number nine overall, domestically, in American history, and 20th worldwide. Some people read the news to get depressed. It works just as well for me to read Box Office Mojo

























New Moon

I actually put myself through this one un-riff-tracked. Why? No, seriously, dear jumping fuckin' Jesus God why? There is no dramatic action in this film whatsoever. Memo to teenage girls and cougar pedophiles everywhere: He loves me he loves me not, I love him I love him not is NOT A PLOT. It is not dramatic action. It is just you wasting your goddamned time waiting for a man who more than likely REALLY ISN'T FUCKING WORTH IT. GET SOME REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ABOUT WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE IN LIFE. Also, if you're not in Kentucky, your Taylor Lautner ball-gag ain't legal. Jesus.

The film is so sullen, so long, so unbearable, so poorly blocked, acted, and written, that by the time real actors show up towards the end, it's actually more confusing and distracting than before, because we have to adjust ourselves to A-list actors lending their talents to a completely unworthy script, concept, production design, and overall mission-statement. Michael Sheen is just bizarre, and Dakota Fanning might as well have her own Vampire Chronicles series. She's quite memorable. But what you have to sit through for her is so unbelievably bad it hurts. The film has an extended sequence of Bella staring out a window for three or four months, in emotional agony. By the end of the movie, I felt like I'd been right there with ya, sister.


























Scene from Face Punch, the film within a film, and preferred choice of entertainment, here

In terms of popular success, bad ruled the year. I did not see GI Joe or Fast and Furious, but honestly, I'm ashamed of you, America. More so this time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'09's Finest

I didn't go to the movies enough this year. Little more behind than usual. Made a huge effort to see everything at Oscar season, and then wandered under the big tent poles for the rest of the year. Missed Precious, Up In The Air, etc., but I'll report on them if I see it's worth it. Until then, time to briefly summarize 2009. A good year:

District 9










This movie was a surprise from start to finish. It doesn't merely devolve into an action film at the end (a common reductive statement from Ebes and others, whenever there's gun-play at the end of a film). I have never seen a film that was this much a mix of Close Encounters and Cronenberg. It works very hard at being unpleasant, and succeeds. Apartheid references notwithstanding, it actually takes a bit of effort to root for these creatures, as they are truly unpleasant. That right there speaks to how deeply unusual, uncompromising and challenging this film really is. And it was a popular success, too. Really, that's marvelous.

Avatar












James Cameron's first film in twelve years is a lot of things. It is visually startling, ethical, fiery and passionate. It is also at times awkward and overbearing, and it is never, ever subtle. But you know what? On the one hand, it has a jaw dropping first hour, where the visual effects and stakes-setting are handled only the way Cameron can handle them. And then it allows itself to get caught up in its story without worrying about dazzling us every two seconds. It emerges as one of the most overtly anti-imperialist, anti-war, anti-invasion, pro-green movies to ever reach this wide an audience. And if some of it falls a little flat or some if it could've been more fluid, I'm willing to let those things go, because I saw sights I've never seen before, and was delighted and amazed many times. It's an audacious film. And perhaps, when there are still apparently people who don't believe we invaded Iraq for oil resources, indeed people who don't understand that sort of thing is the root cause of nearly all war, perhaps a bluntness, a lack of subtlety, is called for. Just a thought.


The Hurt Locker

It's as great as they say. Terrific lead role. Excellent, flawless direction. The most suspenseful film of the year. You need to see it.


Star Trek

Great film. Too loud for Patrick Stewart ("things are generally too loud, these days"). Too many lense flares. Or maybe not enough. Wonderful, funny, gripping. And that opening sequence has never ceased to give me goose bumps. It's touching, and, like the rest of the film, builds on a generous knowledge of Star Trek, and rewards you for it. It's a great movie that shows up already a friend to you. Here's hoping they build on this and make a Star Trek II worthy of Star Trek II.

Coraline

Classic. Creepy. Show it to kids. They deserve to get scared this good.

Fantastic Mr. Fox











Wes Anderson's best film since The Royal Tenenbaums, it's essentially that kind of movie only there's a stop-motion animated cartoon playing atop the audio. Funny, inventive, dark, and is further proof of Anderson's versatility within his so-called limitations. Scorsese has made the same three films his entire career. Anderson may be on to his second kind of film, and this one maybe feels like a departure in some ways. Few filmmakers have made a world with this kind of texture, eccentricity and life (just wait for the scene in the cider-cellar. Absolutely beautiful artistry). And it's about the funniest film you'll see for a good long time.

Where The Wild Things Are












I love this film. Love it love it. It is a classic film, and it will be embraced, just you watch. It is the most experimental children's film released in the United States. Period. It is moody and surreal, dadaism for the youngins (except it will confuse their parents much more). It's richly funny and inventive, filled to the brim with sight-gags and unexpected twists. Its visual, directorial artistry is unprecedented. We have with us the first real Spike Jonze film. I hope he gets to make hundreds more. The rhythm of this film, the ending, the subtle, emotional pull of it, was bound to go over some people's heads. No doubt the mealy-mouthed, average, padded-safety net of a parent wouldn't be able to get it. And it's not too scary. Feh. Just take your little shitheads to see the flatulent 3D guinea pigs or whatever, then.

A Serious Man

Great, original Coen brothers flick. Indelible, merciless and riotously hilarious. Every scene is perfect. Since it played in three theaters nationally, be sure to rent it.

Up












Pixar's best since Finding Nemo. I love this more than anything they've done, Wall-E included. A lot of you won't be with me on that, but I can't think of a film with this kind of story, aimed at children, ever. It's a loving ode to reclaiming dreams, an adult and tragic tale of learning to accept what you can't change, and cherish the memory of what you've lost. It's also a rip-roaring adventure film with a hilarious, brilliantly revealed MacGuffin. And it's just one of the most dazzling visual experiences ever divined by Pixar, which is to say its title refers to where this film sits in the visual pantheon: very nearly above everything else. And if you are not sobbing your fucking eyes out at about the twenty minute mark, you really must have that wretched thumping coal deposit in your chest examined.

Inglourious Basterds






















Here's a film that people argue about, but as far as I'm concerned, it should be easy for film lovers to figure out. To be disappointed that this isn't Quentin's Dirty Dozen is to be churlish and close-minded. Why do you want that, anyway? Why weren't you as enthralled as I was with a flick about a Jewish girl escaping an evil (brilliantly acted) "Jew-Hunter", only to craft the destruction of the twentieth century's greatest evil through a plan inspired by a seductive love of film?

The "heroes" of the film are not the Basterds, maybe because Tarantino senses how dubious it is to portray them as heroes in the first place. Instead, our heroes are Soshanna and her black lover, Pabst and the fires of God's wrathful justice (which, Soshanna, in a cloud of smoke and fury, gets to personify in one powerful visual masterstroke, solidifying this as a goddamned masterpiece, at the end)

I've almost left out the badass English film critic and theorist who doubles as a spy in Act II. And the awe-inspiring bar-scene with the King Kong speech. I can't wait to watch this one twenty more times. Be thankful for Quentin, people. God.

*********************

Honorable mention goes to Funny People, which deserved more attention, it really was quite good. Also to Knowing, a film which had it starred Rufus Sewell instead of you-know-who, might have been given a fairer shake by all of you.

Grand Folly award must also go to Zach Snyder's adaptation of Watchmen, a work of lovingly crafted, powerful obtuseness. It at times feels as though Dr. Manhattan has directed the film, but I still can't think of any big-budget movie more curious about determinism and physics than this one. It's a mind-expanding, consciousness-raising film, perhaps because it hewed as close as it did to Moore's original master-plan. It is flawed. It doesn't quite get Ozymandias right, though I don't believe that's entirely down on Matthew Goode. Malin Akerman is bad, but I'm not sure how her character could be all that good. And the Nite-Owl love making could well be excised from the graphic novel, not just the movie.

Still, Rorschach's, and Dr. Manhattan's parts (heheheh) of this story are simply awe-inspring. Really heady stuff, just unlike anything else I've seen in recent films. Gods and monsters, battling it out, that's what you get here. I think we really should be more open to how individual films are paced and orchestrated. This was an exceptional, albeit flawed film, and I believe its greatness outweighs its weaknesses. Some of it is truly breathtaking. How often does that even happen for a minute?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rejoice!

I survived retail at Christmastime, and am Ridge-certed back into sanity, but still the experience left me thinking of this, and only this:



Yes. We all laughed.

And yes, you should totally watch this, start to finish. Best doc of the year:



Tomorrow, Avatar review and year best and year worst. Soon, best and worst of the whole damned '00s.

Better Than Cribs



You're a nerd. You spend your time with computers, like me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Car Caviar Four Star Daydream

"Someoen just go ahaed and mark this as the death of music. why don't you get together and desecrate the mona lisa or re-shoot the godfather?"

- Angry fanboy on iTunes complaining about The Flaming Lips, Stardeath, Henry Rollins, et. al, covering the entirety of Dark Side Of the Moon.

Music is meant to be performed and experimented with. And The Flaming Lips are easily as accomplished today as Pink Floyd was in their day.

The original version will always be there.

Try doing something even remotely as positive as the Lips have been doing with their lives. I dare you.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just A Reminder

These people are scum, sent to manipulate the stupid, and there is literally nothing they will not say, nothing they will not steal, and nothing they will not abuse.

And when Jon Stewart gets this scoldy, you know you've accomplished something.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

We're Smart Before We're Stupid

From Roger Ebert's Answer Man Column, this week:

Q. My 8-year-old son Andrew has taken an interest in my movie collection. We've been watching movies atypical for someone that young: "Rushmore," "Spellbound" (the spelling bee documentary), "The Right Stuff," "Tell No One" (with subtitles no less!) and this past Friday, a movie near and dear to you: "Dark City."

It appears that kids can handle complex characters and story lines better than we think. Very rarely do I have to explain what was going on, and his comments indicate that he is getting it (during "Rushmore": "Sometimes Max is not nice, but I like him"; on the ending of "Dark City," "He knows all about her, but she doesn't know about him!")

What strikes me the most is how "natural" cinematic grammar is understood by children. No one has to sit down and explain things like cutaways, flashbacks, dream sequences, POV shots and the passage of time in films. How do they learn this stuff? Also, do you think the thematic material in the movies I listed is too much for 8-year-olds, or can I continue to brag and bore my friends?


Mike Spearns, St. Johns, Newfoundland

A. Start bragging. IMHO, kids up until about the age of 11 are more open to good movies than they will be again for some years, unless they fall prey to the deadening effect of peer pressure. A kid knows, as any adult does, that "Twilight" is a crashing bore. I suspect many teenagers like it because they have been ordered to by their peers.

Younger children instinctively love a Miyazaki animated film more than the meaningless action of films like "Monsters vs. Aliens" or "Kung Fu Panda." They're open to the magic. Later, some seem to need to be battered by noise and chaos.

I've never met a preschooler who did not respond well to silent comedy. A film critic friend of mine and his novelist wife raised their daughter on nothing but good films, and so she developed such good taste that she never has been able to stomach visual junk food.

As for understanding the language, the grammar of film seems to have evolved directly from the instincts of the first filmmakers. It requires no theory to understand the difference between a closeup and a long shot, or that a dream sequence is a dream sequence. A good movie contains all the instructions you need about how to watch it. This is true of the greatest films. Only junk like "Transformers 2" requires an instruction manual.



(Reprinted here in full only because his site won't archive it in a way that leads you back to it easily)

Essential Viewing

Though fair warning, it is sickening to listen to:

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Get Her, Sully



(Update: Ok, the end of this is pretty funny)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

It's Always So Funny...

...when an emotionally, morally, and intellectually challenged subsection of an electoral minority gets together and protests.

Unconstitutional? What section? Which article? What amendment? Define the Constitution for me. I dare you.



Where was their anger while we were being wiretapped? Where was the anger during the largest transfer of wealth from one class of people to another, in history? Where was their anger, etc., etc., etc.?

If a hundred assholes crash a hundred planes into a hundred buildings, tomorrow, I still want us to set the example for the world with a commitment to due process.

Monday, November 30, 2009

All True

Missed this last week, but I hear about this book day in and day out at work, and this is absolutely accurate:

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Your Year In Futurism

December is upon us, all the big releases are already pending, and it's not too early to lay out my top ten tracks of the year. 2009 was a fuckin' year for stormers. 2010's gonna have to mobilize early to beat this one:

10. Tiga - What You Need (Proxy mix)

This is the new hard. Proxy's champion dark sounds rival the best of Uberzone, Crystal Method and even Prodigy (just check his remixes of Liam's stuff. Scorchers). This track wound up mixing with a variety of styles this year.

9. Kidda - Doo Whot (Jaymo & Andy George's Moda mix)

Brings back big beat for a moment or two, only to abandon it completely for the worbliest of basslines I've heard all year. Jaymo & Andy George are gonna break it big in 2010.

8. Evil Nine - The Night

Such an amazing track. An epic, enthralling number. Evil Nine has triumphed with the most orchestral and pleasing track you can dance to since, well, Hybrid.

7. South Rakkas Crew - Robot's Revenge

Yeah. I wanted this one to come out a while ago. Hopefully it'll come out before New Year's. Good Christ, this is sick.

6. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Sickly Child

They have this name, and are mindblowingly awesome. It's worth pointing out that I discovered some of these tracks listening to Alex Metric's monthly radio show, and I think he's absolutely right, here. Just disgusting.

5. Popof - Faces'uch

Best elektro of the year. Just flawless, as is everything this dude divines.

4. Stanton Warriors - Good Vibrations

I'd hate to spoil this for you. Just let 'em show you how it's done.

3. Miike Snow - Black and blue (Tiga mix)

Down and dirty, spastic, spare and funky as fuck. Took me a few listens to adequately appreciate. He's doing a lot more here than you may first realize. Just the sexiest remix this year.

2. Passion Pit - Eyes as Candles (Grum vocal mix)

Another gem introduced to me by Alex Metric, Grum's jaw-dropping remix of Passion Pit was the theme song to my travels with Holly through the southwest this year. Incidentally, this is a bootleg, probably not for sale ever, and it's mislabeled on the internet as "To Kingdom Come".

1. Alex Metric - What Now

Good luck topping this in the rock meats electronic category. God. What a fucking storm trooper of a song. Hat's off, and good luck to Mr. Metric in his quest to top this himself.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all you lovers of the wobbly sound.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Citation

And if you don't read and read deeply and if you don't
possess whether you memorize it or not, you don't powerfully and
deeply possess very strong works of literature and thought indeed,
then you will impoverish your thinking. And if we impoverish our
thinking, if it becomes any more adulterated than it has already in
the last third of the century, then I would fear for what is, after
all, most precious about this country...

...But I would fear for the political future of democracy in this large
and varied country if we really do stop reading deeply and holding on
to what we read, if we stop reading the best that has been written,
because then I think we will not think as clearly or as well and we
will be subject to demagoguery.


- Harold Bloom, circa 2000

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Line"

I've been standing askance of Twilight since I discovered what it even was in the first place. I was content for awhile not to have any dog (or wolf) in that fight, while being basically sympathetic to the common-sense feminist complaints against Meyer's Teenage Chastity Porn with a Mormon Agenda™.

Its underlying themes of sex without touching, of abject attachment, of co-dependence, of deep, black snake moan need at all times for a superhuman man to protect you, the obsession with Edward, the constant description of....

...well, I've read detailed take-downs from people who've read the book so I didn't have to, and this is a damned good one: (part 1) (part 2)

For a surprise, read through this interview and you'll discover that Kristen Stewart is thoughtful enough to see what's wrong with Edward and Bella's relationship:

You have to question their (Bella and Edward's) motivations - to watch two people so unhealthily devoted to each other.

'The weirdest f**king themes run through this story - like dominance and masochism.'

This thoughtfulness doesn't preclude her staying on for the set-for-life status, and frankly, who could blame her?

So, other people, I should say mostly women, have fought this fight, and I've stayed out of it. Until now. Because this shit just gets creepier and creepier, and I can't ignore it anymore. I would say that most of the women I sell the books to at my bookstore are thirty-five or older. And this used to be all about Edward, but it's not now.

Like I just said, I work at a bookstore. I work at a corporate bookstore. I had never heard of Jon and Kate and the cabbages until I started working in a spot near the tabloids. I see all the trash. Less than five feet from where I work we have the Taylor Lautner bookmarks. We can barely keep them in the store.

Ladies, here's Lautner's IMDB page.

Look closely. Need help? Allow me:

11 February 1992

Guess what that means!

It's not about Edward anymore. It's all about Jacob.

And you are all pedophiles.


But your condition gave me the opportunity to laugh at this, so thanks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Maddow's Stunned Silence



Well. You may say, "why not just ignore this, it's just like watching a train-wreck and there's nothing you can do about it, anyway".

And I say to you, this is really happening right now. And believe me, a great number of people take this rhetoric seriously. Many others on their side do not. But you should be apprised.

(and with people like this in the spotlight, egging their kind on, we really need to be vigilant)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lock-Step

People buying Palin voucher last night:

Customer 1: She's the only one who made any damned sense during that whole election. Not like that jack-ass who's in there now

Customer 2: AMEN

Customer 1: They act like being able to skin a moose and fire-

Customer 2: -fire a gun

Customer 1: -a gun, yes, that disqualifies her from being president!

(she wasn't running for president. You know that, right? I mean, yes, obviously she could've been president, in her position, god help us all, but, remember John McCain? War Hero? Accomplished Senator? No?)

Customer 1: If I keep hearing that the economy's improving I'm gonna puke.

So, is this a majority of southerners and other hard-line conservatives? This is what Karl Rove has programmed them to be? People who hear not policy, or words, just code? She makes sense? In what hypothetical linguistic way?

I know, I know, I shouldn't be surprised. Still, cheering for high unemployment and rooting for economic catastrophe because it would hurt Obama seems to be their past time, never mind who was in charge when we were attacked, or who was in charge when the economy tanked. And do they, or Sarah Palin have our best interest in mind? Do I really have to ask any of this?

And no, for the record, since you're boiling down the opposition to your addled Alaskan horror-show to some perceived elitist wash, against hunters, it is not because she can fire a gun and skin a moose. That doesn't automatically disqualify a candidate. How it counts as a credential, however, for the most difficult job on the planet, you have all yet to bother to explain.

Hate to vent about it, but I have to endure this throughout the holiday season now that this farce of a book is out on the shelves. And I won't get mad, 'cause y'all lost. Hope you keep losing, but could you find better ways to cope if and when you do?

Pharmacology and Its Benefactors




Very pretty tech house. Not my style, usually, but I dig VonStroke.

His and Justin Martin's "Beat That Bird" was a large track this year. Doesn't mean I'm strayin' from breaks, even as the best sounds have strayed, often to "electro-house", which, at its best, I will just call breaks, because I can.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don't Care

Via this post at Sully's, via an email to The National Review:

I'm 26 years old and my generation holds very strong views on this topic... in my experience, mostly in support of same-sex marriage. Personally, I'm on the fence about it. But for most people my age, that is not good enough. The peer pressure to support gay marriage is enormous. Which is precisely why I refuse to give my (socially mandatory in many circles) full-throated support to it. When friends tell me it's a civil right and denying gays their "universal right to marriage" is the same as forbidding whites and blacks to marry, it makes my skin crawl . . . but I don't know how to argue against these points. I just know deep down there's something fishy about the arguments.

Your "skin crawls" because such statements implicate you personally. You don't know "how to argue against these points", because you have no argument, precisely because there is no morally righteous argument to be made against equal rights, save the one you dredge up from fraudulent, Judeo-Christian sophistry. As if Jesus said anything about homosexuals, but never mind.

Sullivan takes the Christian approach in arguing for our rights. I prefer not to. I simply don't care if any of you are ready or not. I'm especially less impressed by the ethical "sophistication" that requires you to wait and see if you're an "individual" before you do the right thing. You will never be an individual in all things, even as many things are not so black and white.

But, all those who possess rights I do not, tread carefully with me about how equitable I should be with my attitude.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Idiot Food

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I've just had somebody tell me that Beck's viewers don't buy into his claims completely, that it's just entertainment. I would urge against that kind of apologia, because first of all, yes, many, many of them do, including members of my family who snatch up every book he recommends and parrot out things to me they've heard him say on the hate channel. Same goes for the countless people who walk through my checkout line, buying his "books", some spouting off to me and others in line about how today's young better listen to this righteous man.

But the most pressing advice I can think of to urge against this apologia is that plain garbage should be avoided, no matter how "entertaining" it might be for appealing to your basest instincts.

Beck's show is poisoning the body politic, three million scant viewers (as compared to overall population) or not. He has every right to host his own show and spout off as much crazy shit as he can think of. But that doesn't mean it's harmless. Everyone should actively curb intellectual and cognitive pollution. It's easily as harmful as any other kind.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Outrageous! No Respect!

So say those who possess rights which I do not yet, in Tennessee, possess.



(Via)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Future Music

Future Music.



Future Music.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

It Is NOT Too Scary For Your Kids

God...

Really?

Your kids require being scared at a movie from time to time. It's part of BEING A KID! Goddam-

-No. I'll just stop right now. I'm not reviewing Where The Wild Things Are, here. I'm just venting my feelings about hyper-sensitive, over-protective parents who freak out at any sign of distress (as if distress wasn't something to learn to manage early on)

Here are just a few images from some of the flicks we saw when we were kids:


JESUS CHRIST!


SHIT, I'M UNDER THE COUCH


FUCK YOU, SHOWTIME


You can't see this very well, but ARTEX IS FUCKING DROWNING IN QUICKSAND NO!!!!!


NOW THIS THING, GODDAMMIT. TURN IT OFF!

And nuts to this.

The kids around me settled down, almost immediately, just so you know. They were, most of them, paying rapt attention.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Christopher Plummer Gay Gay Gay

Our friends over at The Playlist noticed a recent announcement about a mysterious new film from director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) called Beginners, set to star Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. What’s this project about, they wondered? Well, you know how we like to shed light on secret loglines at Movieline, and we do have the script, so here’s the exclusive plot synopsis: McGregor plays a young man rocked by two announcements from his elderly father (Plummer)…one, that he has terminal cancer, and two, that he’s coming out of the closet. The role of Plummer’s handsome younger boyfriend has not yet been cast, but we’re frankly shocked that the famously gay-friendly McGregor (soon to be seen canoodling with Jim Carrey in I Love You Phillip Morris) isn’t playing that part instead. [The Playlist]

(via Movie Line)

Associates of the proprietor have informed me that any and all search engine queries regarding the absolutely unambiguous sexuality of Sir Christopher Plummer are totally fatuous, based upon manipulation, lies and slander, and will be met with severe penalty if you so much as Christopher Plummer gay gay homosexual Christopher Plummer sodomy.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Not BeatPartisan



If you're gonna put your four to the floor, do it like this guy.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thursday, October 01, 2009

History Lesson

Roger Ebert, finally taking on ToonTown

Normally, I wouldn't do this, but with Ebert's ripostes I could let these loons feed him ripe-for-the-mocking illiteracy all day. Here are my favorite excerpts from the comments:

"The rules that made it perfectly acceptable for even mainstream liberals to say things like "Heil to the Thief," "Idiot-in-Thief," "Commander-in-Thief," and so on? The rules that condoned accusing this man of lying to get this country into a war for oil--accusing him of sending thousands of our best citizens to their deaths, and far more thousands of citizens of another country to their deaths, all while allegedly knowing full well that no one was going to find any WMDs?"

Ebert: Was the 2000 election stolen? Did Bush lie to get us into war? Did Bush violate the Constitution?

Yes.


"I have lost count of the Liberal Pundits who described Bush and Cheney as Murdering (Iraq), Racist (Katrina), Thieves (2000 & 2004 Elections)."

Ebert: Thieves for sure.


"Ebert: Thieves for sure.

I am sorry but that also is a lie perpetuated by the left. There are many lies on the left and right.
"

Ebert: Explain to me how and why Bush won the 2000 election.

"Who is into conspiracy theories now?"

Ebert: What is it about the 2000 election you don't understand?

"I wasn't that upset by the Bush protests, and after the left went there with hitler and whatever I SURE don't care about it with the current idiot president."

Ebert: An idiot? What word would you use for Bush?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ROAR GRR GROWL

The best America can do is to treat Iran the way it treated South Africa or Communist Eastern Europe, building an international consensus among democracies on isolating them while offering an olive branch to keep local populations yearning for change. Already, America's recent conciliatory stance on Iran, and Iran's aggressive responses, have put us in a stronger diplomatic position. The question is whether Americans can muster the patience to support this kind of policy, or whether we will view it as "weak". The policy itself—isolation, containment, deterrence, offers of friendship if freedom breaks out—is little different from the way America treated the Soviet bloc in the 1980s; Ronald Reagan never called for air strikes on Poland. But in the current political alignment, the temptation for the opposition to slam the president for "losing Iran" if sanctions don't produce quick results may be too strong to resist.

- GAH

Look, either put your money where your mouth is, or shut up, hawks. Either say that you're willing to start World War III, or get off it. Either admit that you'd be fine with the untold number of U.S. Army (and Iranian civilian) casualties we'd incur if we were actually willing to follow through with your implications, or shove it down your war-holes. Weak, my ass. Suit up or SHUT THE FUCK UP, GODDAMMIT. How are we going to afford this aggression anyway? Take healthcare reform and multiply that times a billion and it would roughly be the cost of occupying Afghanistan, Iraq, AND IRAN. And what's more, some of you know that. I'm so sick of hearing this. Growling and waving your dick at a perceived threat is not a way to achieve nuclear surrender. MORONS.

Monday, September 28, 2009

...ye...YEAH

Superlative journalism:

Happy Yom Kippur

My opener from last night's set:


Sha! Shtil!
Shhh! Quiet!

Khor

Sha shtil, makh nit keyn gerider,
Shhh! Quiet, make no noise,

Der rebe geyt shoyn tantsn vider.
The rabbi is going to dance again.

Sha shtil, makh nit keyn gevald,
Be quiet, make no commotion,

Der rebe geyt shoyn tantsn bald.
The rabbi is going to dance soon.

Un az der rebe tantst,
And when the rabbi dances,

Tantsn dokh di vent,
The walls dance with him,

Lomir ale plyeskn mit di hent!
Let's all clap our hands!

Khor

Un az der rebe tantst,
And when the rabbi dances,

Tantst dokh mit der tish,
The table dances along,

Lomir ale tupn mit di fis!
Let's all stamp our feet!

Khor

Un az der rebe zingt dem heylikn nign,
And when the rabbi sings the holy nign,

blaybt der sotn
The evil one remains

a toyter lign.
lying dead.

Hey khsidim,
Hey everybody,

Der rebe geyt shoyn tantsn.
The rabbi is going to dance already.

Hey khsidim,
Hey everybody,

Der rebe geyt shoyn tantsn bald!
The rabbi is going to dance right away!

No, seriously.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tom Delay Danced The Gay Out Of Me

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moral Kombat
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests


That's right, after seeing this, I promptly traded in my sexuality for a copy of A Room of One's Own. Are you happy, GOP?!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Not Gonna Teach Ya

Two of the best producers in the world hail from Brazil and have a bio you can check here.

The Twelves have just now released a set I'm still absorbing, but it's damned good. It features remixes or reworks of Radiohead, Black Kids, Fever Ray, etc., that are very much worth noting (it's also worth noting that no one on this planet remixes Radiohead better, proof of that here).

At a time when Deejaying has become more digitized, removing certain limitations that might actually make most sets better, The Twelves use the technology as an instrument where others use the instrument as technology. The result is classic disco. Enjoy:

The Twelfth Hour - The Twelves



Methusalem - Robotism
Groove Armada - Drop The Tough (The Twelves Remix)
Glass Candy - Miss Broadway
Daft Punk - Da Funk
DJ Agent 86 - Wavestate
Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control
Gaz Nevada - I-C Love Affair
Phoenix - Lisztomania
Arpadys - Mystery Rock (Vlad Maywad edit)
The Do - On My Shoulders
Zoot Woman - Information First
The Jacksons - Shake your Body
Mr Oizo - Two Takes It
Bushy - Sqezy Soul
Zeigeist - Humanitarianism (The Twelves Remix)
Snoop Doggy Dogg - Sensual Seduction
Juan Maclean - No Time
DJ Agent 86 - Magic
K.I.D. - Hupendi Musiki
Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses
Siriusmo - Discoding
Dan Hartman - Vertigo / Relight my Fire
Air - Sexy Boy
Fever Ray - Seven (The Twelves Remix)
Pacific - Hot Lips (The Twelves Remix)
Patrick Alavi - Power
Dynasty - I Dont Wanna be a Freak
Metronomy - Radio Ladio
Siriusmo - Last Dear
Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream
Elitechnique - Spectral Escape
The Virgins - Rich Girls
Black Kids - ...Dance With You (The Twelves Remake)
The Juan Maclean - Happy House
M.I.A. - Boyz
Cut Copy - So Haunted
Space - Magic Fly
PNAU - With You Forever
Eddie Tour - Up The Glitter
Mr. Oizo - Hun
Cerrone - Give Me Love
Mr. Oizo - Steroids (ft. Uffie)
Tiga - Shoes
Kano - It's a War
Daft Punk - Revolution 909
Radiohead - Scatterbrain (The Twelves Remix)
Terry Poison - Comme Ci Comme Ça (The Twelves Remix)
Sebastien Tellier - Sexual Sportswear
Chemical Brothers - It Doesn't
Matter
Database vs. French Horn Rebellion - Beaches and Friends (The Twelves Remix)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

39



You're an actual Christian, Mr. President. It offends them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Atlas Tugged

...Rand spent her first months in this country subsisting on loans from relatives in Chicago, which she promised to repay lavishly when she struck it rich. (She reneged, never speaking to her Chicago family again.) She also enjoyed the great fortune of breaking into Hollywood at the moment it was exploding in size, and of bumping into DeMille. Many writers equal to her in their talents never got the chance to develop their abilities. That was not because they were bad or delinquent people. They were merely the victims of the commonplace phenomenon that Bernard Williams described as "moral luck."

LOANS?!! Miss Pull-Yourself-Up-From-Your-Own-Communized-Bootstraps? What will your legions say when they hear that? I'm guessing they just WON'T hear that.

From this excellent piece on Ayn Rand.

I'm especially fond of the way Rand used the tools of soviet propaganda to create a movement equally fascistic. I wish I could have lucked into a gig writing adolescent, redundant prose, venerating myself to libertarian nitwits for an eternity. I also like the part where she couldn't get laid until her cult got up and running, and then, imagine that, looks didn't matter.

And that cult is still alive and well today. Christ, and I say this objectively, her books are unbelievable trash.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Send the Injuns Back to Africa

...if there had in fact been 2 million protesters in Washington yesterday, there would have been no need to lie about it -- the magnitude of the protests would have been self-evident. I was in Washington for the inauguration, an event at which there really were almost 2 million people present -- and let me tell you, it was a Holy Mess. Hotels, charging double or treble their usual rates, were booked weeks in advance. Major stations on the Metro system were shut down for hours at a time. The National Guard was brought in. At least 3,000 people got stuck in a tunnel. Essentially the entirely of the National Mall, from the Capitol to the Washington Monument, was dotted with onlookers. Heaps of trash were left behind. The entire city was basically a warzone for a period of about 20 hours, from midnight through mid-evening.

- Nate Silver, debunking the ridiculous claim of 2 million tea-party protesters in April

I don't have a problem with seeing numerous reports filled with pictures of racist, stupid signs, and videos of walking, talking mouth-breathing Beckazoid illiterates shambling across the D.C. mall, contributing to the decline in the Republican party's national digits. I don't get upset because these people currently represent a scintilla of our population.

We've always had them, though. Look:



The more things change....



The only time I've gotten mad about it in the past few months was the whole Education Speech debacle. The average American should have more common sense than that, but not below the Mason-Dixon, apparently.

I wish these people would just eschew the word socialism altogether, the actual meaning of which will always escape them. Just use the real words, the real epithets you'd like to use, is all I'd ask.

And as for us lefties, center-lefties, moderates, center-righties, Americans otherwise still nestled cortex-ally within the stubborn grasp of reason, let's not blow this out of proportion, either. Yes, it would be disastrous if these people took congress in a year. But they're not serious people. Their reaction is animal, not rational. It's no different than when actual animals sense an earthquake coming. They know they've lost, and lost big, and they know it instinctively. Aside from it being their right to protest, however insanely, against the president, this may also be a cathartic platform through which some of this old-timey venom and violence might purge itself off, if only by a fraction.

Lost Gospel

Slide on back to 2002, where breaks are at the very height of their power and influence over the collective techno-sphere, and I'm at the center of that vortex, absorbing and downloading all the best of this music I can find. I have so much good, diverse, interesting stuff, I reject an entirely worthy side B of a mixtape, in favor of a more bangin' one.

The result was The Gospel of Subsonic Funk. Used to be, I had forty-five minutes on both sides of each tape, and I would make side A my main-floor and side B my head-scratchy, weird side.

That was what I thought this mix was, but turns out, it has a few really nice breaks tracks from the time, and I found it, recently, backed up with my other sets. Viddy:

Apocryphal Mix



By all means, head on to the Droid-Rock Show and download it. You know the drill. Much respect to Steve Bug and DJ-T's Monsterbaze, a track so huge I'm tempted to throw it back into rotation nearly a decade later. We heard Adam Freeland play it in Nashville in 2001 and it made the crowd stop dancing. Stopped dancing because they were so unbelievably mind-blown by it they had to just take it in.


13. Ananda Ghost - Idol (Dark Globe Mix)

14. Raze - Break 4 Love (Future Funk Squad Mix)

15. Sonic Animation - I'm Afraid I Think I'm Human (Nubreed vs Phil K mix)

16. David James - A Permanent State (Waveform mix)

17. Steve Bug Vs DJ-T - Monsterbaze

18. Bushwacka! - Butterfly

19. Banca De Gaia - Obsidian (The Light Vs. Proper Filthy Naughty mix)

20. Planet Funk - Inside All The People (Lee Coombs Dub)

21. Quinn Whalley - Crack Whore

Monday, September 14, 2009

Herzog FAIL....

...or Herzog WIN?

I'm going to go with probable win, because there's nothing more interesting than the prospect of a truly successful Nic Cage-Is-Batshit-Crazy-Film:


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Timely

Zoot Woman just dropped this during Alex Metric show:

One Honest Term

This has been a long time in the making. Even more striking to me than that, really, is that non-response rebuttals like this one and a ditto-populace undermined compassionate public service for so many years. What was it about Reagan's response here that sounded so authentic? Wish I knew. It's about as monosyllabic as Joe Wilson's moron-spasm last night, really.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Have a Beer With Hellboy

Adam Savage (half of Mythbusters duo) did one of my favorite panels at DCon. The first half was one hundred things he'd like to do:



There's at least one more of these. Clicky clicky.

HAIL!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Johannesburg Slaughter

My problem with E.T., and I think it would be a better film, are those big Walter Keane moonstone eyes, because you immediately love that little creature. There’s a moment in the film when they’re dissecting the frogs and they do a close-up of the frogs with those alien slit eyes. Now if E.T. had those eyes, then he’s a really grotesque ugly thing and the kid has to learn to love a grotesque ugly thing. It’s easy to love E.T. It should have been difficult to love E.T.

- Terry Gilliam

Neill Blomkamp's District 9 is definitely made in that spirit. It's like riding on a thoroughfare that takes you from Hotel Rwanda to Cronenberg. It is unbelievably brutal, or at least its level of violence and grotesquerie surprised me until I thought about the producer, Peter Jackson, and his earlier films.

The creatures are only half-heartedly anthropomorphized, and the nepotist hero goes from nebbish to fighter-boy without much time for a consistent transition between (though his transition is certainly a bodily one). It is overlong, and far too uncompromising to have grossed as much as it has.

And we should all be thankful to Peter Jackson for introducing such a talented new filmmaker to the world. This is simply the best and most riveting science fiction film in years, so long as you have the stomach for it.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Road Warriors

On the way to Cali to steer Holly's worldlies back to the southeastern United Ess of Ay tonight, and my musical itinerary for the duration is:

The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

Chuck - Bucket of Fuckin' D'n'B

Alex Metric BBC Radio one July mix

Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion

Fake Blood -Fix Your Accent

Gary Numan - The Pleasure Principle

Passion Pit - Manners

David Sedaris - Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim

1776 - David McCullough

Party on, Dudes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Say Auf Wiedersehen To Your Nazi Review

The problem is that by making the star attraction of his latest film a most delightful Nazi, one whose smooth talk is as lovingly presented as his murderous violence, Mr. Tarantino has polluted that love.

- Manohla Dargis's Review

Yes, because Iago, Humbert Humbert, Anton Chigurh, Cruella Deville, etc., were all presented without comment, so as to justify, respectively, framing a woman for adultery, entering into congress with a twelve year old, murdering everything in sight based on an arbitration, or attempting to skin puppies for a coat.

Film naturally sensationalizes, because, in the hands of a master, all actions become sensational. To quote another film review:

Rear Window is not about Greenwich Village, it is a film about cinema, and I DO know cinema - Francois Truffaut.

So does Tarantino.

Dargis is a moralist, not a film critic.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ebert For Secretary of Saying Things Better

I was informed that my entry was "typical liberalism." This is correct. I am a liberal. If you are a conservative, this appears to be a difference between us: I think you should have guaranteed health insurance.

Article Here

Oh, 1999, I Love You Most of All

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Glimpse Into an Alex Metric Show....



Will he come to the states, i.e., not just NY or L.A.?