Eazy e

>> Thursday, May 29, 2014

Folks, I need some legal help.  I know, I know--I'm a lawyer, and why does a lawyer need legal help?  Same reason a general practitioner in medicine might need a brain surgeon.  Same reason the flight attendant can't just step out in front of the passengers on a plane and say, "Hey, everybody please stay calm, but does anyone here know how to operate any kind of vehicle whatsoever?"  I do my thing and I like to think I do it well, but I'm not an intellectual property specialist.

And I need to file a trademark.  On this:

e

"What?" you incredulously ask.  "The letter 'E'?  You want to trademark the letter 'E'.  VanNewkirk, you've lost your mind.  You've gone insane in the membrane.  You're playing without a full deck, you're truly gone fishing, you are all kinds of metaphors for bugfuck crazy.  We knew it would happen someday, and boy did it ever.  Trademark a letter!  Pish!  And posh!  Trademark a letter of the alphabet, as if!"

And I say, "Nuts.  Nuts, I say, and nuts, I mean.  That's not a letter.  That's a number.  That right there is Euler's Constant, a.k.a. 'e', a.k.a. the natural log (as in logarithm, not something that came out your butt, what are you, five?) and while it coincidentally looks like my middle initial, smartypants, it really signifies the limit of (1 + 1/n)n as n approaches infinity, approximate value 2.71828-et cetera, and trademarking letters that are numbers is totally a thing now."

No, seriously.  It's a thing.  Some jackass has trademarked π and evidently the USPO let him.

Okay, okay, it's a little more highfalutin' than that, you got me.  If you follow the link, he trademarked, π, period, as in:

π.®

See, the period is like the grace note in "Ice Ice Baby" that completely and totally differentiates it from "Under Pressure".   So what I really want to do, I guess, is trademark this:

e.


And then I can put it on stuff.  You know, stuff.  Like, you know, shirts, I guess.  And other articles of clothing, not just shirts.  Like... sweatshirts, for instance.  Or hoodies.  Or maybe wifebeaters.  I mean, there's a lot of potential here, and if you help me, you could get rich.

Or we could just harass Zazzle users, right?  Like, you know, send Zazzle a demand that they pull any merch that has our e. on it, because, like, maybe some of those people will, I dunno, license our number from us.  I think there's a plan for profit, here.  I mean, yes, basically my plan right now looks like, "(1) Trademark e, (3) PROFIT!" which sounds kinda familiar for some reason, but I think it's a sound plan.

Plus, you know, economists and biologists and people who track logarithmic exponential growth for whatever reason (oo!  I'll bet vampire hunters use e all the time!) probably put e on stuff: academic journals, government reports, whiteboards, chalkboards, backs of envelopes, cocktail napkins, etc., etc.--we might be able to get lots of licensing money from all those rich public university academics with their "tenure" and their "health plans" and their "working a part-time job during the summer but don't tell my students I waited tables all July"!  Ha!  We'll be milking it in!

So help me make this dream come true.  Riches beyond compare could be ours for the taking if you'll just help me fill out some paperwork trademarking the use of Euler's Number followed by a period on whatever the hell someone might want to put Euler's Number on.  This is totally a plan.  The world is our oyster.  Why, given enough time and a breeding population of bivalves, the world is our N0e(rt) oysters....

Help me out here, friends.  We can totally make this a thing.  Clearly.




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Godzilla, part two

>> Saturday, May 17, 2014

Here is where I thought I was going with Godzilla yesterday: I thought I was going to talk about the movie in general, and something about writing in particular, and I wasn't really planning on rambling on about how you're going to die at all.

So, right--the movie.

Is pretty, for starters.  I'm not entirely sure about the 3D, because I don't know if the problems I had with it during the first third of the movie were with the 3D itself or just with me.  I found myself perceiving a diorama effect during the first bit of the movie, everything looking kind of flat and stacked, but at some point it stopped bothering me, suggesting that it may not have been there in the first place and I was having a hard time adjusting to the 3D effects, is all.  Or it's possible it was present, there throughout, and at some point I began ignoring it.  It's also possible, I think, that the theatre we saw the movie in was having some kind of projector issue, because the Maleficent trailer before the movie looked worse than I would have believed possible (visually speaking, I mean; it literally looked terrible--the substance of it looks like it will be pretty much what you expect from a gratuitous live-action prequel about the villain from Sleeping Beauty that stars Angelina Jolie)If everybody saw what I saw, I hope it was the projector.  It's okay if it was just me.

But, anyway, once my brain adjusted one way or the other, Godzilla is pretty spectacular, breathtaking at times, even.  If Godzilla doesn't quite have the existentialist angst I rattled on about yesterday, I still have to hand it to the filmmakers that they were savvy enough to frame Godzilla that way.  Godzilla is treated as an elemental force, which is good, and (better yet), he's shot that way, shown looming up against and partially obscured by backlit clouds, as a ginormous wave in the ocean with a half-seen shadow of lizardskin deep beneath.  He's an epic beast, which does hearken back to Gojira (where we have to admit that Godzilla's appearance as a monster of light and shadow may have been as much a happy accident of Ishiro Honda's limited lighting budget as it was a conscious aesthetic).

A standout sequence that may be worth the price of admission all by itself involves the apt use of Ligetti's Requiem for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, 2 Mixed Choirs and Orchestra, a piece familiar to science fiction fans for its harrowing use by Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey; the parachuting soldiers, plummeting through clouds and into the smoke and dust of a ruined city, look like they're diving into Jupiter's atmosphere from space, which I have to imagine is exactly the association director Gareth Edwards was trying to evoke.  Well-played.  It's gorgeous and terrifying.

And carries more weight than most of the rest of the movie, which I guess is something we'll be getting to.

My friend Nate, one of the friends Scatterkat and I saw the movie with, is a Godzilla buff (in addition to being a proficient filmmaker and editor--the man knows movies); a Godzilla obsessive, even, and knows the franchise to a depth I couldn't hope to reach.  And he liked the movie, which I think is enough of an endorsement to full-stop say: if you're a Godzilla fan, go, see it, the biggest Godzilla fan I know on the planet endorsed it the other evening.  He did find it a little bit talky, though; I think--and I hope I'm not misrepresenting his views--he liked just about everything else about it.

I see what he's saying, though I don't quite agree; the original Gojira is a pretty talky film, but it doesn't slow the movie down any (I think Nate and I agree about this: when I mentioned it to him, he observed that Gojira is a half hour shorter than Godzilla, and I think we agreed that a half hour could easily have been cut from the latter).  For me, the problem isn't so much the amount of talk (aside from the film being too long overall, I mean), but who's doing the talking.  Unfortunately, although for understandable reasons, Godzilla decides pretty early on to sideline its most interesting actors to expository/spectator roles; specifically, we're talking about the wonderful Ken Watanabe and the equally-wonderful Bryan Cranston, though this is a movie that also fails to do anything at all with Juliette Binoche, who appears in what amounts to a cameo.

Watanabe and Cranston mostly run and gape at things, sometimes pausing in their running and gaping to turn to another character and announce some plot point that would really be nothing more than a speculative shot-in-the-dark if it came from a real person in the real world.  For instance, Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa (a nod to the scientist in Gojira; Cranston's character is named Brody in what I take as a nod to Jaws) knows an awful lot more about Godzilla's feeding habits and place in the primordial ecosystem than a man who has ever actually seen an animal in its natural environment not even once ought to know; that is to say, he jumps to a conclusion with absolutely no evidence for it and happens to be completely correct because that's what happens later in the movie.  I really need to say that this is all completely alright because this is a giant monster movie and that's the kind of thing you expect from scientists in these kinds of movies and I didn't actually have a problem with it even though it's bad writing; it's still fun, but the biggest problem with it is that it's kind of a waste to have someone as awesome as Ken Watanabe (or Bryan Cranston) intermittently showing up at various places and times just to infodump and vanish.  If anything, I sort of wish there'd been a bit more of Watanabe on screen pulling Godzilla Facts out of his ass, even though that's a double-edged sword since most of those Godzilla Facts don't actually make much sense even in the context of the film (e.g. for an apex predator, Godzilla sure wastes a lot of food).

Again, take that with a grain of salt, though.  A whole lick of salt.  Ken Watanabe's Godzilla Facts are silly, but that's okay because by the end of the movie there's a lot of Godzilla being awesome, which is a big part (if not the whole reason) you're at a Godzilla movie.  I guess I'm just letting you know what you're in for: sometimes, and not often enough, Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston show up and spout some random piece of bullshit about Godzilla, which turns out to be completely correct because Godzilla movie.

The scenes with Cranston or Watanabe don't drag that much, but the other talky scenes do, because Cranston and Watanabe are (like I just wrote) exposition and spectator guys who show up to stare at things with their mouths open or to demonstrate why they always win Trivia Night at the local wings place when Ancient Marine Cryptozoans is in play as a category.  Unfortunately, the actual main character is Generic White Guy, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who I've only seen elsewhere in Kick-Ass, a movie I really liked but--I regret writing this, because it seems unnecessarily cruel--he's less memorable than Nicolas Cage, Chloe Grace Moretz, or Christopher Mintz-Plasse (what's with all these hyphenated young actors?).  And Taylor-Johnson starred in Kick-Ass.  He was the title character.

In Godzilla, he's the main guy, and much of the movie shifts perspectives between he, in the role of GWG; his wife, Mrs. (or possibly Dr., I don't think it's clear) GWG (Elizabeth Olsen); and sometimes his son, GWG Jr. (Carson Bolde).  This is all coming off as snarkier and meaner than I ever meant to be with this, but one of Godzilla's biggest, primary, essential, least-forgivable problems is that much of the movie is focused on three blandly attractive people who aren't very interesting.  They aren't likable, but they aren't unlikeable, either.  The actors playing them are all competent and do what the script requires them to do, but mostly all the script requires them to do is show up.  Sometimes they are upset by something, and sometimes they have to run or hide.  Occasionally, something makes them happy or relieved.  Taylor-Johnson, Olsen and Bolde all successfully make the appropriate gestures and facial expressions and vocal changes necessary to convey their new emotional state.  But so what?

It's actually worse than that because it's pretty obvious pretty early that GWG has plot immunity, which sucks all the tension and drama out of every scene he's in, which turns out to be quite a lot of the movie.

Here's a fairly specific example of what's wrong with Godzilla, and it isn't a reason not to see the movie, and it's also spoiler-free, which is unfortunate and ironic because I'm about to describe a specific scene in modest detail.  There's a sequence towards the middle of the film, you see, in which it's very important for a nuclear warhead to be transferred to San Fransisco by train.  GWG gets himself tasked to this mission because he's the main character.  I mean that really is basically the reason he's there.  And so he's on this train, with the nuclear warhead, when it stops before a tunnel just before a bridge, because they need to check out the tunnel and the bridge before the train proceeds to enter the tunnel and cross the bridge.  And of course GWG is part of the team that inspects the tunnel and bridge, because he's the main character.  I mean, that really is basically the reason he goes into the tunnel and onto the bridge even though it kind of contradicts his plot reason for being there at all, which you'd think would be a reason to tell him to stay the fuck on the train.  But okay.  They go out onto the bridge, and things go very badly, and everybody except GWG gets killed, because GWG is the main character.  And he has plot immunity.  Eventually the bomb is transported to San Fransisco anyway, but by helicopter.

Now, this sequence is beautifully assembled.  I mean, beautifully.  The camera work is fantastic, the editing is perfect.  If you went to a con and saw this sequence, just this sequence, shown as part of a sneak peak at a panel featuring the makers of Godzilla, you would be excited.  By itself, this sequence is one of the best action sequences I've probably seen in the past several years.  It's the kind of sequence that Christopher Nolan, who is one of my favorite directors, would totally wreck in the editing room; the kind of sequence that Sam Mendes (the guy who directed Skyfall) would muck up by getting too fancy.  Gareth Edwards just nails it.

It's terrible.

In the movie, it's terrible.  It's one of the first sequences they should have cut.  I understand why they didn't, because it's beautiful.  Also, it probably cost them a lot of money.  But it's just awful.

Because, for starters, its mere existence betrays it.  This is the thing about Godzilla's writing that I really wanted to write about to start with, as opposed to the existentialism of Gojira.  The fact that this scene is in the movie at all is the reason I could tell you exactly what happened in even more detail, and it would still be spoiler-proof.  Because if nothing happened, they would just cut to the train rolling into San Fransisco: "Welcome to San Fransisco.  How was the trip?"  "Uneventful, sir.  Where's the monster now?"  You know everyone is toast the minute they show the train stopping at the tunnel entrance.  And you also know, at this point in the film, that GWG has plot immunity, mostly because you're still looking at him being blandly attractive on screen and having feelings about stuff.  So you pretty much know that some or all of the characters in this bit of the movie will die, but GWG can't be one of them.  And you pretty much also know that the warhead will eventually get to San Fransisco one way or another, because it's too Chekovian not to.

Which means this big and dramatic setpiece, while big (really big!) and dramatic--and brilliantly well-crafted, to boot--is completely meaningless and unnecessary.  Oops.

As a guy who sometimes pretends he's a writer, what this is telling me is that I should cut scenes like this from my own work, or, in the alternative, I ought to be George R.R. Martin.  The scene would work if I thought GWG was in any real danger (and cared), or if I thought the bomb would be irrecoverable (and necessary; I know I just said it was too Chekovian not to be, but you could also put it into perspective by coming at it the other way: if the bomb isn't necessary, why is it in this movie at all,* and we still don't care how this all turns out**).

Useful to think about, that.

As a viewer, it just means that I'm watching an action sequence that's much less exciting than it ought to be because the obvious fix was in from the first round.  (If you want to extend the professional fighting metaphor: Godzilla is a lot more like WWE than college boxing.***)

Which eventually brings us back around to what Nate was saying about Godzilla seeming talky.  It is, but that's really a part of the bigger problem with Godzilla being padded.  Which is not just GWG and Mrs. (Dr.?) GWG playing phone tag (which seriously feels like it's more of the film than it really is) and telling other characters that they have to go somewhere else or stay right where they are or whatever, but also entire action sequences that feel incidental to the whole project.  Possibly the only human-featured action scene that feels vital to the film in any way at all is that paradrop I wrote about earlier, which may be why it feels so exciting and awe-striking (aside from the brilliant use of the Ligetti piece).

Godzilla is fun.  I realize I'm mostly writing about the stuff that makes it less fun; that's probably because it's not just easier to write about, it's also more interesting.  There's a useful lesson (I think) in figuring out why the train tunnel/bridge sequence shouldn't even be in the movie at all.  There's also a bit of nuance (I think) in figuring out that GWG's plot immunity and overall mere GWG-ness makes for a less-interesting movie.  One thing I could have gone into, but won't (because this post is so long already) is that the writers' economy of characters sort of slips in their hands and cuts them: GWG implausibly ends up everywhere something happens, which keeps down on the number of characters the audience has to track (often a problem in disaster movies), but is also... well, implausible.  That's something else useful to chew on, anyway, if you're writerly-inclined.  If I were a filmmaker, I'd also consider the very real possibility that there are too many GWGs in movies, and maybe my film would be more interesting if I let Bryan Cranston (who is white but not generic) and Ken Watanabe (who is neither white nor generic) do some heavy lifting (not to mention, perhaps, a non-white and/or non-generic lady actor).

That's a logical place to bring up something I couldn't help thinking throughout all of Godzilla, I'm afraid: "I like this, but Pacific Rim was a lot more fun."  Granted, Pacific Rim ostensibly starred a GWG; it also co-starred Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba and Ron Perlman (who is a decidedly non-generic white guy).  Godzilla has a startling lack of diversity for a movie about a monster from Japan (there are a lot of Japanese extras and supporting players in the first third of the film, but all of them but Ken Watanabe disappear well before the halfway mark, and then I think there's one black guy in the entire rest of the film, who plays the movie's POCNIC (Person Of Color Not In Charge)), but that's not really the reason Pacific Rim is more fun; it's really just that nearly everything that happens in Pacific Rim feels like it's heading towards something, whereas much of Godzilla feels like it's trying to hold off on delivering a twenty-minute monster battle for as long as possible.

Ouch.  Okay, I'm looking at what I just wrote again.  Seriously, I liked it.  I really did.  It's not a bad way to kill two hours and you should go see it if you like giant monster movies and apocalypses.

I think that about covers it.







*Ironically, the bomb isn't important enough to be a MacGuffin.  Which seems weird at first, but if it still seems weird after you think about it, consider that the tricksy thing about a good MacGuffin isn't that it's actually unimportant, but that it nevertheless seems important.  To be a good MacGuffin, the nuclear warhead in Godzilla would probably need to be introduced earlier in the film, so that we could be convinced that we were supposed to care about it.

**Actually, there's a really awful irony about what I just wrote, but I think talking about it could provoke a legitimate spoiler complaint, which I've probably just lampshaded.  Sorry.

***And from what I hear, professional boxing is more like Godzilla than it is like NCAA boxing.







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Godzilla, part one

>> Friday, May 16, 2014

The Scatterkat and I joined friends for Godzilla last night.  
 
It was fun, we enjoyed ourselves, if you were on the fence you probably ought to go.  I haven't quite decided whether there's ever a point to doing reviews here, because a lot of the kinds of films I end up seeing are the kinds of movies my friends--and most of this blog's visitors are friends--have already come to a decision on.  I suspect.  If you're the sort of reader who is planning on seeing Godzilla, I doubt my bad review, if I gave one, would change your mind; conversely, if you have no intention of seeing Godzilla under any circumstances, I doubt my rave review, if I gave one, would change your mind.

And if you're on the fence, well--most likely, what's going to persuade you to see/not see Godzilla will be the weather and what else is playing.  It's raining, you're in the mood to see a Godzilla movie, hey, here ya go.

I suppose I've buried a hint about my feelings in the above paragraphs without really even meaning to: that I liked Godzilla but I can't say I loved it, that I enjoyed it, but I don't think it's going to supplant Gojira in my heart.  And this comment, I suppose, also discloses a bias: I like, but don't necessarily love, many of the later Godzilla movies, but I'm the killjoy purist who thinks there was one truly great Godzilla movie in 1954 and every thing else has been but a shadow.  I love kaiju fighting and I love cheesy movies and I'm even misanthropic enough at some wicked level to enjoy watching humans get what's coming to us (though I'm discovering, as I get older, I enjoy it less than I did when I was a teenager), but Gojira wasn't really any of those things even if it was the modern beginning of all of them (yes, I know King Kong came First Of All, and I love Kong, but modern monster movies are Godzilla's children, not Kong's).

Gojira is fundamentally different from all the movies that copied it, much as Jaws is fundamentally and essentially different from all the movies that came after.  It's easy to forget this.  Everyone who made a Scary Animal movie in the wake of Jaws (see what I did there?) thought that Jaws was a movie about a big shark, and you could get the same kind of effect if you struck out "shark" and replaced it with killer whale, or bear, or pig, or whatever; but Jaws is a movie about three guys bonding while on a quest to save a small town from a natural disaster it isn't equipped to handle, and oh yeah, there happens to be a big shark that's a part of that.  Gojira is a movie about the horrors of an indifferent universe in which God, if it exists, is a vicious and brutal bastard, and how personal integrity and honor are about the only things that matter in the face of a cosmos that is at best indifferent and at worst really out to fuck people up, and by the way there's a giant atomic-fire-breathing dinosaur that shows up and gives a face (and a voice!) to the incomprehensible and primal vast.  Everybody who saw Gojira's box office numbers, including Toho Co., Ltd., the studio that produced Gojira and its Japanese sequels, decided it was a movie about a dinosaur.  Which is great: I love dinosaurs.  But it also totally misses the point.

This leads me to a realization of something I didn't grok about myself and therefore didn't know I'd write, which makes me glad I'm doing this post after all: as much as I love kaiju and monsters and such, and therefore love so many of the inferior clones and sequels that followed Gojira, I don't think that's what I actually love about Gojira itself; I think, ultimately, I love Gojira for basically the same reason I love H.P. Lovecraft even though he was a horrible racist who wrote some fairly terrible short stories over the course of a fairly unsuccessful career.  Godzilla, in his initial appearance, isn't really Godzilla as he comes to be known in all the other movies he starred in: in Gojira, Godzilla is Cthulhu; he's an Elder Thing from a Strange Aeon who serves as a symbol or avatar for all we can't ever possibly understand even though it will eventually kill us, kill us as individuals and as a species.  Godzilla and Cthulhu are the reason bad things happen to good people, they're drought and famine and plague, they're nuclear war, they're a gamma ray burst from a distant supernova, they're an asteroid impact.  They're the fact that you and I will die someday, and so will everyone who loved us until everyone who had a reason to remember us is gone and we're just names on a stone marker or a line in the census, and even those things will be gone in time, and unless one of the ten million world religions that believes in an afterlife or some kind of reincarnation just happens against all the odds to be right about something for once, that will be It.

This sounds awful, and yet it's also inordinately optimistic.  If Godzilla--the original, very first appearance of Godzilla--and Cthulhu are the embodiment of the cessation of existence, the key thing there is embodiment.  You can run from Godzilla.  He might step on you anyway, he has big feet and a long stride, but you have better chances against him than you do old age.  Cthulhu lies sleeping in sunken R'lyeh, and if he doesn't get his act together while the stars are just so in the sky, you get another thousand year reprieve.  As bleak and pessimistic as the existentialist worldview appears on the surface, the truth is that it's the ultimate in optimism: if the universe has no meaning and is just going to roll over you sooner or later, you get to define it on your own terms and face it with your head held high.  You get to decide for yourself if you're going to let yourself get eaten or if you're going to go deep-sea diving with the Oxygen Destroyer tucked beneath your arm.  As symbols of indifferent destruction and the inevitability of death go, Godzilla and Cthulhu are things with faces, which means you can punch them, even if it's absolutely the last thing you'll do.

Fuck you, Godzilla.  Fuck you, Cthulhu.  Fuck you, death.

This is not where I thought I was going with this at all.

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A public service announcement for lesbian visitors to this blog

>> Thursday, May 15, 2014

During the conference, the Rev. Cesar Truqui, an exorcist based in Switzerland, recounted one experience he had aboard a Swissair flight. “Two lesbians,” he said, had sat behind him on the plane. Soon afterward, he said, he felt Satan’s presence. As he silently sought to repel the evil spirit through prayer, one of the women, he said, began growling demonically and threw chocolates at his head.
The Washington Post, May 10th, 2014.


I, for one, found this anecdote extremely disturbing.  The account doesn't specify whether this incident happened in Coach or Business, or--Heaven forfend!--in First Class, but I don't suppose it matters.

The main concern, obviously, is that Satan is now targeting lesbians.

We don't really know, do we, whether Satan possessed some poor lesbian before coming aboard the plane, or whether Satan merely assumed the form of a lesbian for the purposes of leading another lesbian into temptation.  We can't say whether these lesbians on a plane were a couple, even: was this a happy, perhaps even married, pair of lesbians and Satan entered one of them; or did The Enemy, perhaps invisible, observe a lesbian at the airport and, taking the form of another lesbian, sidle alongside her with nefarious intent?

We will assume that Satan, like Catholic priests, has a gift for noticing and singling out lesbians: he is as capable as any spiritual/demonic being of observing that a woman has short hair, no makeup, and is wearing an Indigo Girls tour t-shirt with blue jeans and Birkenstocks, yes?

In any case, we must heed Father Truqui's warning and pass it along!  Satan is going after lesbians, and if you are a lesbian, you might well be next!  Granted, it's a bit of a vague warning: if you're a lesbian, and you are approached by another apparent lesbian who is growly, has a bag of chocolates which she probably isn't eating (so as to reserve them for some greater malfeasance), doesn't like hearing prayers, and wants to go on a plane trip, stay away!  Run!  Do not go near her!  If this chocolate-flinging, basso-voiced, Sapphic practitioner is someone you're in an ongoing relationship, you should probably dump her, though I guess you could also find a priest to conduct an exorcism (it just seems like an awful lot of bother, is all).

Whatever you do, don't buy plane tickets with "her".  It does not end well.

We can only imagine what horrors awaited the non-demonically-infested lesbian on the Reverend's plane.  Was she knocked over a second-story bannister to land on the floor below and later pushed out a hospital window?  Did Satan abruptly grow a penis and impregnate her with his evil seed while a coven of creepy old people stood around and watched them having sex?  Was the beloved Lilith Fair shirt she's had since college ruined by pea-green vomit stains?  Did Satan surprise her by coming out as a gay male who loves showtunes and Saddam Hussein?  We can only speculate from the kinds of things we're pretty sure Satan is up to from previously-well-documented incidents.  But we know nothing good could come of it.  Well--actually, Satan has a pretty good voice, so the bit where he belts out something Broadway-ish probably would be alright, but still.  Most of the time, getting tangled up with Satan is a bad thing, with screaming and blood and crazy lighting effects.

So, if there are any lesbian readers visiting this blog: be wary.  Satan is evidently among you.  We don't know what he wants, but he may throw candy at someone.  Good luck, and be careful out there, okay?







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All in his head

>> Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Karl Rove stunned a conference when he suggested Hillary Clinton may have brain damage.

Onstage with Robert Gibbs and CBS correspondent and "Spies Against Armageddon" co-author Dan Raviv, Rove said Republicans should keep the Benghazi issue alive.

He said if Clinton runs for president, voters must be told what happened when she suffered a fall in December 2012.

The official diagnosis was a blood clot. Rove told the conference near LA Thursday, "Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that."
Time, May 12th, 2014.

The above came to my attention via Charlie Pierce at Esquire, who, I'm afraid, misses a very salient point: if anyone knows from brain damage in modern American politics, it's Karl Christian Rove.  Of course in that regard, we have to note the equally obvious fact Mr. Rove seems to have overlooked: so far as we know, Ms. Clinton hasn't switched her party affiliation and remains the presumptive-per-the-pundits Democratic nominee for President.

I assume, however, that Mr. Rove's comments were a recruitment attempt.  I mean, good gravy, if he's correct and Hillary Clinton suffered brain damage in 2012, that makes her--at the very, very least--GOP Vice Presidential material, right there.  The GOP has been running cognitively disabled Vice-Presidential candidates for decades, at least as far back as Dan Quayle, possibly even as far back as Spiro Agnew.  Heck, if they tapped Hillary Clinton for the Veep position, she wouldn't even be the first mentally-challenged woman they'd ever nominated.

Do we even need to mention how often it's suggested that everyday, ordinary American voters want a Presidential nominee who is "Just Like Them"?  Someone who they could just have a beer with, that kind of thing?  Intellectuals who run for higher office are encouraged to talk down to voters, to appear in ads in their shirtsleeves and smiling vapid smiles directly into a spotlight positioned directly over the photographer's left shoulder, to proffer platitudes about their faith and earnestness and how hard they worked.  Both parties do this, of course, but it's an approach that seems more appealing to a group of Americans who deny global warming, think the Earth might well be only a few thousand years old, and who couldn't find Benghazi on Google Maps tho' they know it's the most important political scandal in the entire history of the Republic.  So I'm thinking a candidate with a traumatic head injury is a shoo-in with this crowd, or ought to be.  "Derrrrr--she's just like me!"  Yes.  Yes, she is.

I mean, hell, if Karl's on to something, at least Hillary would have an excuse.

Except, of course, she hasn't gone over.  Suggesting, then, that Karl Rove is full of shit, a shocking proposition that couldn't possibly be true, could it?  I mean, who would have thought, right?

Still, credit where credit's due: Clinton was in the hospital, albeit for three days and not thirty-nine.  This makes Rove's insinuation at least tangentially related to factual things that actually happened, which is more than you can say for about nine-tenths of what Ms. Clinton's been accused of in the course of her political career.  I mean, at least he's not accusing her of murder.

Well.  Not today, anyway.




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Why so serious?

>> Tuesday, May 13, 2014



(Source image is here.  Why is Batffleck sad/grumpy/anxious?  Tell me!)

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Another proud member of the UCF...

Another proud member of the UCF...
UCF logo ©2008 Michelle Klishis

...an international gang of...

...an international gang of...
смерть шпионам!

...Frank Gorshin-obsessed bikers.

...Frank Gorshin-obsessed bikers.
GorshOn! ©2009 Jeff Hentosz

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