Tuesday, November 28, 2006
In The Future, No Film Will Remain InaccessibleUbuweb
has put all their avant-garde and experimental films and videos online. Jonas Mekas
will start webcasting a new video every day for a year
starting January 1st (not bad for an 84-year-old) and has plenty of other work to see
This sort of thing is happening everywhere lately. Maybe film has a future after all.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Really Really Old And Stuff
It's only November 24th here, but in Melbourne it's the 25th. And that means it's my beautiful Mr. Smithers' birthday.
He's 38 today. Everybody point and laugh at Smithers! He's old
(I don't think he'll be hurt by our mockery, though... I have it from a good source that he's getting a birthday present so cool that he probably won't even notice us having a laugh at his expense.)
I'll love my Mr. Smithers forever. Happy Birthday, sweets.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Gosh, where does
the time go?
Anyway, happy thanksgiving and stuff. Have I mentioned lately that I love Chris Ware, who does the best thanksgiving-themed magazine covers ever
(You really have to look at them up close. He writes too small to get much from the thumbnail.)
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Prank Of The Century
Ha! I knew
it! Coulter Comes Out as Transvestite Trickster
(Yeah, I know. I still believe it. It makes a lot more sense than the alternative.)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The Liberal's Pledge
I know, I know... Michael Moore is the left's Anne Coulter. Except that, of course, Michael Moore never condoned "talking" to conservatives with baseball bats, or nuking any major regions of the world. But fine, have it your way.
Still, what he said:
A Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives
Dear Conservatives and Republicans,
I, and my fellow signatories, hereby make these promises to you:
1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.
2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be "different" or "immoral." Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love -- it's a wonderful gift.
3. We will not spend your grandchildren's money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It's your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you.
4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie.
5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we'll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too.
6. Even though you have opposed environmental regulation, when we clean up our air and water, we, the Democratic majority, will let you, too, breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water.
7. Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you.
8. We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived.
9. We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren't much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, pick up another sport. We will make our streets and schools as free as we can from these weapons and we will protect your children just as we would protect ours.
10. When we raise the minimum wage, we will pay you -- and your employees -- that new wage, too. When women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage, too.
11. We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don't put those beliefs into practice. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs ("Blessed are the poor," "Blessed are the peacemakers," "Love your enemies," "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," and "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn't just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism -- starting with the fanaticism here at home, thus setting a good example for the rest of the world.
12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give
us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition.
I promise all of the above to you because this is your country, too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans -- and for the rest
of the world.
(Sign the pledge)
It would've been nice if we'd heard something similar from you conservatives oh, say six years ago. But hey, water under the bridge.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
My Congressional Wishlist
Along with everyone else (on the left, anyway,) I've spent the last day or so contemplating our new position and wondering what we might do with this beautiful opportunity. I realize, obviously, that the Democratic Congress' power will still be very limited -- that's what checks and balances is all about (and it's about goddamn time we had some of that again.) It would be enough for me, honestly, to simply render the Bush white house as impotent as Wilford Brimley at the Bunny Ranch without his diabeetus supplies. I would be satisfied if this congress merely made every day Bush remains in office as frustrating and painful as it can conceivably be. I would be content if they only stood around the capitol with their arms folded across their chests, sneering derisively through two years of "nay" votes. That's all I need from them.
But you know me, I'm a dreamer. I dare to think bigger. I'm just like that. So here's what I'd really like
to see happen over the next two years. You won't find anything outlandish here -- as much as I want to see Bush/Cheney/Rice/Gonzales and the rest impeached, humiliated, and frog-marched out of the white house in festive orange jumpsuits, I know idle dreams when I see them. But there are a few things I think we can get started on even while stuck in a deadlock.
1) Top-to-bottom election reform: election day becomes a national holiday, with mandatory
voting and a broadened array of voting methods. State laws and procedures regarding elections brought up to a minimum federal standard. Paper trails at every step. You know, all the fucking obvious stuff.
2) Health care reform: that's right, damn it, socialized medicine. We can devise our own system, but nobody should be left without access to basic medical care ever
; it's barbaric. Legalize buying meds abroad if the pharmaceutical companies won't play along, and legalize marijuana already while you're at it. Draw up a plan, introduce a bill, pass it in both the house and senate, and then let Bush veto it. Please
let him veto it. It'll be the best thing he's ever done for the Democratic party.
3) Bring back the fairness doctrine. Remember how much we all got done back before we were constantly at each other's throats, egged on by radio and teevee pundits? Haven't you drawn the connection between the dismantling of the fairness doctrine, the rise of talk radio, and the rancor in politics? Wouldn't it be nice to go back to those days of relative civility?
4) Lay the groundwork to reverse the damage done to our constitution and our international standing: get rid of the PATRIOT Act and replace it with a sensible national security program that addresses our real concerns while leaving us our civil rights and liberties. Start dealing with Guantanamo Bay and our secret prisons. Acknowledge that we've been torturing people, and that doing so was fucking evil.
5) Vastly increase funding for alternative energy research. Don't think about it, just do it. Give our scientists money; they're our only hope.
6) Lower taxes on the middle class, and screw the top 1/2 of 1% to the wall. Tax Halliburton till its ears bleed. It owes us several hundred billion dollars.
7) And you knew this one was coming: open our Iraq policy to the international community. Begin the process of withdrawing with the help and protection of all the other nations interested in the best possible outcome there. It's hard, but it's not rocket science. (Mars, bitches!)
And if you can't do all of these things -- I don't actually expect you to -- then force the Republicans to veto them. I can't wait to see Joe Public's face when he finds out Bush vetoed a bill to lower his taxes or to make his elderly mother's prescription drugs affordable. Win or lose, we'll still win.
Just don't blow it, goddamn you.
There should be a special section in restaurants for people who carry on vapid conversations. I'd much rather sit next to smokers.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Large parts of the right wing seem to be in absolute, pants-wetting hysterics today. And they're wise to be so. Because now that we control the house and senate, we don't have to pretend to be "moderate" anymore.
Now that the election is behind us, and the Democrats control one or possibly both houses of Congress, there's no reason not to admit it: the Right was right about us all along. Here is our 25-point manifesto for the new Congress:
1. Mandatory homosexuality
2. Drug-filled condoms in schools
3. Introduce the new Destruction of Marriage Act
4. Border fence replaced with free shuttle buses
5. Osama Bin Laden to be Secretary of State
(continued at The Right Was Right)
How's Yer Mandate, George?
Isn't it a beautiful, democratically-elected morning? It smells like... mmm, freshly baked political capital!
And oh, how the Republican voters do cry and throw their toys
. It makes it all worthwhile.PS
: Holy shit, this day just gets better and better: Rumsfeld resigns.
Well, he managed to waste $340.7 billion
and get 44,779 American soldiers wounded and 2839 killed
, all for no apparent benefit to the United States, so I'm sure he's proud of what he accomplished during his tenure. (That's right, weasel-boy. Run away before we can take you down for war crimes. You watching, George?)
(from The Talent Show)
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Our Broken Democracy
I suppose it's indicative of just how alienated I've become that I've managed to get all the way through the mid-terms without once mentioning the election. Then again, I've barely mentioned anything at all recently, so maybe it's just part of a larger pattern.
Anyway, I've spent the week so far mourning the fact that, since I'm registered to vote in Mississippi, I don't have anything to vote for. But upon re-checking the situation, I find that that may not be true. There's one senatorial race in Mississippi: Trent Lott (boo, hiss) up against a guy named Fleming. And Fleming is a classic Mississippi Democrat -- he's damn near as Republican as the Republican candidate. He's for raising the minimum wage, which I like. But he's a fucking abstinence educator and has history with Lyndon LaRouche. How am I supposed to vote for that shit?
On the other hand, he can't possibly be worse that Trent Lott (boo, hiss.) We agree on some things (he's moderate on abortion, big on education funding, pretty liberal on immigration, acceptable on gay marriage and election reform), but hardly on everything (he's for tax credits for private school, wants to repeal the estate tax, and he's for Social Security privatization). But agreeing with a senator on some things
would be a big improvement on agreeing with a senator on absolutely nothing. And it's not like he's going to win anyway.
Voting Democrat in Mississippi is a little like spitting in the desert -- it's futile, a purely symbolic act. I have earnestly gone to the polls in every election since I became old enough to vote, not because it makes any discernable difference (I've never voted in a state that wasn't essentially pre-determined one way or the other), but because it just makes it too goddamn easy on the motherfuckers if I decline to even show up. That's what the bastards want, and I have no intention of giving it to them without a fight, no matter how futile and symbolic.
So I'll probably drag myself off to the polls, just to piss off Trent Lott (boo, hiss.) And then I'll come home and watch it make absolutely no fucking difference. I've gotten used to it.
If you're in a more interesting district, go vote.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
This Is Not The End Of This Blog
At least, I don't think it is. I certainly don't intend for it to be.
I've just been doing other stuff lately, y'know? And I think that's a good thing. I'm sure it'll pick up again soon, anyway.