Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
Brave is about Merida, a very headstrong princess in ancient Scotland... her mother is constantly coaching her on how to act like a proper princess, but Merida would much rather be riding her horse through the forest practicing shots with her bow and arrows. Her parents try to arrange for her to marry one of three potential suitors from rival clans, but Merida wants none of this. After fighting with her mother about it, Merida races off into the forest and finds a witch who she convinces to do a spell for her, a spell that will change her fate... it does change her fate, but not in the way she expects, and she spends the rest of the movie trying to undo the awful curse that she inadvertently puts on her mother.
Billy Connolly provides the voice for Merida's father, King Fergus... Connolly's silliness comes through at times, but the movie hardly makes her father out to be a buffoon as so many movies unfortunately do with fathers these days. You know right from the opening scene what kind of man Fergus is when he bravely defends his family from the demon bear Mor'du, losing one of his legs to the bear in the process. And the conflict between Merida and her mother is not overblown to the point of making her mother (brilliantly voiced by Emma Thompson) into a one-dimensional character... you can see both sides of it.
I also enjoyed watching the movie again with commentary from the writers and directors... it was very interesting to hear them talking about all the various story ideas they tried out before settling on the scenes that made it into the final version of the movie. I found myself really hoping these people get together again to work on something else very soon.
There was a short film included on the DVD that explained the backstory of how Mor'du became Mor'du, but all that information is in the movie anyway, so it seemed a bit unnecessary... but there was another short film included called La Luna, which was utterly adorable. La Luna has nothing at all to do with Brave, but it's still worth watching if you get a chance to see it.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
That's not to say I'm optimistic, though... after all, Obama will still be president tomorrow, the media will still be full of lying assholes, and most of the voting public will still be stupid and/or crazy.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Update: Hmmm... Ramesh Ponnuru has an interesting take on the so-called "purge of conservatives" from committees in the House that has so many people calling for John Boehner's head.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Quantum of Solace was a bit weak, but Daniel Craig is definitely one of the better Bonds... I hope his version of Bond will be around for a while. His IMDB page already credits him with roles in two more yet-to-be-named Bond movies, so hopefully we can expect at least two more with Craig as Bond before they try to pull a switcheroo on us.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
It's far better to eat Thanksgiving dinner than it is to be Thanksgiving dinner, I always say. Here's to hoping that your Thanksgiving turned out better than this poor guy's did.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Many people on the left are Kool-Aid drinkers. They are firmly decided yet decidedly misinformed, the type of people who refuse to even speak to anyone that watches Fox News. They tend to think of themselves as highly-informed voters, but they deliberately seek out only the most rabidly left-wing media outlets and completely shun all dissenting opinions. If they even acknowledge that there is another side, it is only to present a cartoonish caricature of their political opponents... they don't have any interest in knowing what anyone on the right really thinks about anything.
For some voters, their problem is not so much willful ignorance as it is an overreliance on emotional thinking. They like to think of themselves as having an open mind, but their minds are so open that their brains have fallen out. They don't necessarily shun opposing views, but it can still be very difficult to reach such people... they don't process information in the same way that logical people do. You can hit them over the head with cold hard facts all day long and not even make a dent, because they base their votes more on how they feel than anything else... if the facts hurt their feelings, you aren't going to get very far with them. The only chance you have to win over people like this is with appeals to emotion... and the very next day the Democrats would probably just win them right back again by appealing to class envy, hurling false charges of racism or homophobia, stoking hatred of Christians or Jews, playing on imaginary fears of wars on lady parts, or arranging a well-timed photo op.
And then there are those who can't really be bothered to think at all. They are the product of a failed school system that doesn't teach kids how to think critically. They know all sorts of things, but they don't know how they know them. They might not seek out overtly political stuff, but most "straight" media coverage they get from our corrupt media is just a watered-down version of the delusional crap they would get from MSNBC... and even when they try their best to avoid that sort of stuff, it still finds them anyway in dribs and drabs thanks to all the left-wing talking points that permeate pop culture. They might call themselves apolitical, but they are Democrats by default. Some of these people can be converted, but they have to be mugged by reality first. That being said, if seeing both 9/11/2001 and 9/11/2012, and suffering through the worst economic recovery in our nation's history aren't enough to wake them up, then I don't know what will.
These are all long-term cultural problems we face here, they didn't just suddenly crop up on us overnight. And it seems to get a little bit worse every single year. I still remember my first run-in with this sort of thing... it was something that happened to me way back in grade school, but it stuck with me.
Ronald Reagan was running against Walter Mondale, and my fifth-grade teacher polled the class on who we would vote for... she gave us some ballots to fill out, but first she gave us a twenty minute lecture on the awfulness of Reagan and the wonderfulness of Mondale. I didn't know very much about politics at the time, but I was vaguely aware that my father was a Reagan voter, and I knew what my teacher was doing was very wrong. This was a push poll... I didn't know the proper term for it at the time, but I could see it for what it was and it made me very angry. As it turned out, I was the only kid in the whole class who didn't vote for Mondale. You'd think the teacher would be satisfied with how successful her push poll was, but no... she spent the rest of our time in class trying to track down and expose the identity of the sole Reagan voter. I stayed quiet, hoping she would just give up and get back to doing her job, but she didn't stop until she got every kid in class but me to fess up to who they voted for... she finally found me by the process of elimination. Then she got in my face and demanded to know why I voted for Reagan... so I got in her her face instead and called her every name I could think of, chasing her right out of her own classroom. I hated her guts from that day forward, and I never blindly took the word of any teacher again... any respect they got from me they had to earn.
That was 1984. I can only imagine how insufferable the teachers in that school are today, now that we're living in the Age of Obama. We can argue about Romney's strategery all we want, but what are we going to do about all these other problems? This isn't just about the next election. I fear this will take generations to fix, assuming we haven't already reached some sort of tipping point.
Update: Of course, folks on the right can be just as hard to reason with sometimes. Apparently some people were so butthurt about how the primaries turned out that they stopped identifying themselves as Republicans, which was part of where all the confusion about the polls came from. Also, by the sounds of it, Project ORCA turned out to be nothing short of a GOTV fiasco. Oh well. Maybe next time we'll somehow manage to get our act together, if the country lasts that long.
Update: Ugh... I'm really amazed that I'm still arguing with brainwashed Dems who are 100% certain that Mitt Romney's position on abortion is identical to Todd Akin's, while also having to take crap from people on the right who see no difference between Romney and Obama. It's almost enough to make me want to just say screw it and start picketing somewhere with some "Obama=Akin" signs.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
The whole show is a bit all over the place, really.... so many different things are going on at once, but hardly anything ever gets resolved in any meaningful or satisfying way in any single episode. It's a bit like watching a fantasy version of the X-Files, but one that's way too heavy on the "mytharc" stuff and way too light on the standalone monster episodes. And there's a lot of random weird shit happening that doesn't seem very connected to anything, such as the evil suitcase that contains the smoke monster from Lost, or something. This makes the pace of the show feel very, very slow... it takes about three episodes to give you one episode worth of meaningful stuff actually happening.
Also, a recurring theme of the show seems to be that money is the root of all evil... I think that would really start to grate on my nerves after a while, but your miles may vary.
Update: Well, the powers that be over at ABC have decided to pull the plug on the show, so I guess I can stop whining about it now. I just hope Terry O'Quinn ends up in something better next time... his talents seemed a bit wasted on this, in my opinion.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Update: Well, I guess zero out of three ain't too bad, huh?
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
This was supposedly Obama's best moment:
All I got out of Obama's condescending answer was that he likes to substitute snark for substance. At no point did Obama attempt to explain why the Navy was wrong to ask for the 350 ships that Romney was talking about. Also, I doubt Obama's snark will play very well in Virginia.
I thought Romney's best moment came when he was talking about Obama's Apology Tour:
Obama didn't really have an answer for that, other than to lie and try to hide behind the corrupt media's skirt. And he won't have an answer for all the coverage Benghazi gets over the next two weeks, either.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Obama got a lot of shots in, but he didn't have any single moment in the entire debate that even came close to being as effective as that moment of Romney's. Romney completely laid waste to Obama's pathetic record and all Obama could do was just sit there and take it. What was supposedly Obama's best moment came during an answer to a question about Benghazi... but after the debate was over even Obama had to concede to the questioner that Romney's point was correct. I have a feeling this point will be revisited in the next debate, which will focus on foreign policy issues. Hopefully by then Romney will also have a better response ready for Obama's faux outrage. And in the meantime the rest of us will be talking about Benghazi:
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
It's hard to take someone seriously when he's acting like such a clown during a serious discussion about Iran's attempts to get nuclear weapons. Lots of people keep making comparisons to Jack Nicholson's portrayal of The Joker... it actually made me think more of Nicholson's performance in The Pledge, the scene where he is sitting there all looking disheveled and muttering crazy thoughts to himself. But speaking of The Joker, did you know that a film based on Victor Hugo's novel The Man Who Laughs was the original inspiration for The Joker?
Friday, October 12, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Despite an entire week of debate prep, Joe Biden will still be Joe Biden. He will say a lot of very dumb things but he will say them all with the utmost confidence. and the media will do their best to declare him the winner no matter how badly he does. Biden will loudly blurt out some idiotic lie about Republicans, throwing his hands up in the air in exasperation... and then he'll put a big shit-eating grin on his face afterward. Most of the media will call this absurd lie the best line of the night and the moment that Biden won the debate. A few of the smarter lefty media folks won't even bother trying to defend Biden's awfulness, they'll just try to downplay the overall importance of the VP debate.
Paul Ryan will do great. He'll make a lot of really great points, and back up what he's saying with a lot of facts and figures. The media will do its best to portray Ryan's proficiency with math and familiarity with the budget as some sort of gaffe... they will try to say his reliance on numbers makes him seem cold and without empathy, or some such nonsense. They will also try to find some terrible problem with Ryan's body language, even if there is nothing to find.
Update: Doh! The VP debate wasn't the town hall debate, so you can scratch my first prediction... though I think that prediction will still hold true of the next debate between Obama and Romney.
Update: Lots of folks on the left want to think Biden won the debate. I think it's very telling that so many Democrats seem to think being a good debater means loudly interrupting and acting like a clown. He may have won the hearts of Democrats with his buffoonery, but I don't think he did himself any favors with independents. I was right about Biden throwing up his hands and blurting out a stupid lie about Republicans... he did that when he tried to put 100% of the blame for the "Great Recession" on the GOP, despite the fact that Democrats controlled both houses of Congress when it happened. I'm sure most Democrats loved hearing that sort of garbage, but I have yet to find one who's willing to call it the best line of the night.
Update: I was right about them trying to call Ryan cold. WaPo's Richard Cohen calls Ryan "cold", "plastic" and "too actuarial"... but Biden was somehow both "real" and a "hack with heart", whatever the hell that means.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Obama's never really been challenged by anyone his whole life. Now he had to suffer through one actual debate and he completely fell apart. I can't wait to see how badly he does in the next one.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
What the hell was he/she/it thinking? Yeah, tell me again how weird and out of touch you think Mitt Romney is. Meanwhile, Obama's campaign manager is so creepy looking that anyone who sees him immediately has to reach for the brain bleach afterwards... he looks like he should be the President of NAMBLA or something, and yet he really thought it would help the Obama campaign to put this picture of himself out there. Self-awareness is definitely not his strong suit.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
What the hell? This is the only interview he gave today, and they don't even mention that it's the anniversary of 9/11. Yeah, tell us again how weird you think Mitt Romney is, Mr. President.
And if that's not enough, there's the administration's utterly pathetic response to the events that took place in Cairo and Benghazi today... not to mention the pointed snub of Benjamin Netanyahu. Sadly, John Bolton's description of Obama as the first post-American president becomes more and more apt with each passing day.
And even now I'm still not sure what it's about. A guy's son dies so then he gets himself arrested for trying to put a cross up on a building? Huh? But it does come with the Chuck Norris seal of approval, so there's that.
Friday, September 7, 2012
If no one could have fixed it, then why the hell did Obama promise us that he could? He even gave us this handy chart:
Obama's party controlled both houses of Congress from 2006 to 2010. Once Obama came into office, he got his precious $800+ billion stimulus bill passed right away. He got everything he wanted. It didn't work. Can we please have a president who doesn't hate Capitalism now?
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Meanwhile, Palin was the only person on either ticket in 2008 who had any executive experience at all, and she proved she could hold her own against Biden in a debate. I relish the thought of Biden having to face off against Paul Ryan... we can surely expect Ryan to run circles around Biden, unless Obama dumps Biden to put someone else on the ticket. But I really doubt that Obama is smart enough to do that or humble enough to admit it was a mistake to ever pick Biden in the first place.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Remember when the Obama administration tried to blame the PBGC for screwing non-union Delphi workers out of their pensions? As it turns out, not so much... the PBGC wasn't even allowed to attend the meeting where this decision was made. Aside from the unseemliness of Obama looking out for his union backers while making sure everyone else gets shafted, we also have the issue of whether or not Timothy Geithner's exclusion of PBGC was a violation of the law... the PBGC is supposed to be making these decisions, not merely acting as the scapegoat for decisions made at the Department of the Treasury.
By the way, did any of those non-union Delphi employees happen to have wives who later died of cancer? I'm asking for a friend.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Friedman slices Donahue's argument to pieces while Donahue can only just sit there and stammer. No wonder the left still hates Friedman so much.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
He's so batshit insane that he has the Westboro Baptist Church solidly in his corner... that's pretty bad. They say he was sent by God to shoot all those people, so they plan to protest at all the victims' funerals. Wow, I never knew that God hated Batman so much.
I'm really glad that the "Batman Killer" moniker doesn't seem to be catching on. Apart from the horrendous movies that Joel Schumacher made, I've always been a huge fan of all things Batman... I've especially enjoyed the first two movies in this rebooted Batman trilogy, and I really look forward to seeing the third. Red Letter Media gave a pretty positive review of The Dark Knight Rises:
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
And what does Obama have to show for this relentless campaign of dishonest attacks? The latest CBS/NYT poll shows Romney in the lead for the first time... it's only a one point lead, but the internals of the poll look terrible for Obama. And the latest Rasmussen poll has uncommitted voters giving Obama a paltry 29% job approval rating.
Please, give us more of your idiotic conspiracy theories, and keep telling small business owners that they didn't build anything... let's see if we can widen Romney's lead to double digits. Then maybe Obama will start to tell us we should spread the poll numbers around because it's good for everybody.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I guess it was watchable, but I can't really recommend it. There were too many villains and not enough time spent on any one of them to properly develop the characters or explain what was happening. The three main villains were Sandman, Venom, and the New Goblin... yet I think Sandman is the only one of the three to ever get called Sandman by anyone, and that was only one time. Peter Parker refers to Harry Osborn as Goblin Jr. at one point, but I don't think the name New Goblin appeared anywhere except in the credits. And I never heard anyone refer to Venom by name either.
Sandman's origin is not explained very well, and the sudden attempt to include him in the murder of Peter's uncle came off feeling a little too contrived and clumsy... and the conversation about forgiveness he has with Peter at the end of the movie ends up feeling a little too anticlimactic.
Some alien goo became a new suit for Spider-Man for a while, until he decided it was making him a douchebag so he found a way to get rid of it... then the goo attached itself to another douchebag named Eddie Brock and became Venom. They had a scene where Dr. Curt Connors tried to explain the nature of this goo to Peter, but the whole scene seemed to be played more for laughs than anything... it didn't come across as very believable. Also, the goo's mind-reading abilities are only hinted at, never really addressed directly.
Harry Osborn was out for revenge from the get-go, which was to be expected given everything that happened in the first two films, but in this one they had him bouncing back and forth so many times from bad to good to very bad to very good... it got a bit tiresome.
Another problem was that Peter Parker himself becomes a bit of a villain for a while before he finally sheds the black suit... well, he actually started acting like a bit of a douchebag before he has the black suit. I was really annoyed by the attempt to make "bad Peter" look cool by giving him a really stupid emo hairstyle. I was also annoyed that he never said a word to Mary Jane about the black suit, he just let her think he suddenly became the world's biggest asshole for no reason... I know they were trying to make a point about forgiveness and owning up to mistakes, but come on.
I really wish the same writing team from Spider-Man 2 could have been brought back to write this movie too, I think it would have turned out much better. Even after stumbling a bit with this movie, they still could have brought back that team to write a fourth movie, but for some reason they tried using some completely new writers... nobody could agree on a script, and the whole thing fell apart when Sam Raimi backed out. So now we will have a stupid reboot instead of what could have been a decent sequel. Oh well.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
This is not a depression, or even a recession, at least not based on the standard way of measuring such things... the problem is, it sure feels like a recession to most people because the jobs still haven't come back. Maybe we aren't supposed to call it a recession, but we sure as hell can't call it a recovery when there are no jobs. So then, what do we call it?
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Update: And here they are delving into a few more spoilery type questions that have been bugging them about the movie.
Friday, June 15, 2012
In other news, did you ever notice Japanese people make a lot of really weird movies:
Hmmmm... I think maybe I'll skip that one.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Well, Iraqis are free, aren't they? Their government is far from perfect, but at least it's theirs now. And where is all the oil we stole? Seems like we could sure could use some of it right about now.
The rape rooms are gone. Iraqis aren't being shoved feet first into giant shredding machines anymore. Saddam isn't funding terrorism anymore, or buying votes on the U.N. Security Council, or doing his best to acquire WMDs, or gassing his own people, or forcing droves of people to the polls at gunpoint to vote for him. But it's really all about that oil we stole that we don't seem to have anywhere, right?
Friday, May 25, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
As bad as unemployment has been and continues to be, the official unemployment rate leaves out several pieces of data that would paint an even bleaker picture of the unemployment situation. The alternative ways of measuring unemployment have their uses, but the 1994 changes that the Bureau of Labor Statistics made to these methodologies can sometimes make it difficult to compare apples to apples.
I thought it might be interesting to see what would happen to the Misery Index if it could also account for those who have become so discouraged that they simply gave up looking for work. Instead of trying to rejigger a new Misery Index by using the U4 unemployment rate in place of the standard rate, I decided to just turn the Misery Index on its head. Instead of adding inflation to unemployment, I subtracted inflation from the employment-to-population ratio... I call this the Happiness Index, since it's a sort of Bizarro version of the Misery Index. I averaged the monthly data for each presidential term going all the way back to Truman's second term, and then created this graphic to show the Happiness Index for each term:
Are you happier now than you were four years ago?
Obama's term is not yet complete, but I included his average so far just for the sake of comparison... you have to go back to Reagan's first term to find a worse number than Obama's, and Reagan was at least moving things significantly in the right direction.
Despite the 9/11 attacks and the bursting of the tech bubble, George W. Bush's first term still managed the second highest Happiness Index shown here... the numbers for Bush's second term are not as good as his first, but are still the fourth best. While Bush was in office, we kept hearing the phrase "jobless recovery" over and over again, but so far it looks like the best Obama can do is not nearly as good as Bush's worst.
Update: Oh, so the lousy economy is all Bush's fault? Fine... let's see what happens to the numbers when you take the first year of Obama's term and place it at the end of Bush's second term. This would give Bush a slightly lower Happiness Index of 59.35 percent, and bring Obama's number down to 55.99 percent. Why stop there? Let's also place Obama's second year in office at the end of Bush's term and see what happens. This would give Bush 58.94 percent and Obama 55.14 percent. It seems like the more of a grace period we try to give Obama, the worse his numbers get. This is because Obama's monthly Happiness Index didn't hit bottom until 2011, when it reached 54.53 percent in both August and September... you have to go all the way back to March 1984 to find a lower monthly number.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Obama portrayed black people as having an inner white person, and he wondered "whether the bonds of community could be restored without collectively exorcising that ghostly figure that haunted black dreams." So that inner white person wasn't real. It was a ghost — a ghost that haunted dreams. The book is "Dreams From My Father," so it's quite significant to find the notion of dreams haunted by white people, and white people conceptualized as ghosts.
She found 8 different examples of ghosts referred to in the book... very interesting stuff, go read the whole thing.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
People have been having loads of fun with this on Twitter, the hashtag #ObamaDogRecipes is still spreading like wildfire... I couldn't resist goofing on it a bit myself:
And here a few other tweets by people I follow that I especially enjoyed:
There were some pretty funny photoshops too, this one is my favorite so far:
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Wowie zowie... I'll never look at Who Framed Roger Rabbit the same way again. (No, that's not a photoshopped picture... if you don't believe me, then check out this video of the model Courtney Black being prepped for the photo shoot.)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012
I was pretty bummed about the whole thing, until I stumbled across this:
Now I'm laughing my ass off.
Update: Heh... this one is pretty funny too.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Also, if you missed it, please head over to Joshuapundit's blog and check out his interview of me.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Are there some similarities between Obamacare and Romneycare? Sure, but there are some pretty big differences too, so I don't see why it would make Romney incapable of making the case against Obamacare. With Romney at least we would have a chance to make that case, Santorum would constantly have us talking about all the wrong things and a real case against Obamacare would never get made.
( found via @keder )
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
I hope to get some more posted here soon... in the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter.