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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Movie Review: Charles watches THE WATCHMEN




So, it's done. They finally made it, and I finally saw it. Now I can get on with my life.

I haven't read any reviews of this thing, good or bad. And I know three people that have seen it: the first loves it, the second thought it was "okay", and the third said "Oh, it was horrible!" Going into it, I honestly expected to like it...but also expecting to be disappointed. I've been excited by movies like this before. And it leads to nothing but heart ache and pain. I mean, how much more disappointment can one person take?! (I'm looking at you, "Religulous" and "Synecdoche, New York"!!!) So, I was prepared to be bummed out about spending nearly 3 hours on garbage. But that didn't happen. 'cause I really liked it. And upon reflection, I like it more.

After I saw the movie, took out the book and flipped through it. I knew there were some things that would be cut (and will be restored on DVD), but I thought this was one of the most faithful adaptations I've ever seen. It's almost too anal. The colors, the actors, the art design, costumes, all of it was solid.

**SPOILERS** There was a lot of information to ingest, to really get the full gist of this entire world. And I thought the opening sequence was a perfect example of how they were able to tell you an entire story through visuals (also using the Bob Dylan song, which is also featured in the book-- so anal!). So much is going on in this film that it really does help to have read the comic book. For example, with the story of the news paper dealer and the kid with the pirate comic book cut out, you may not know at first that an unmasked Rorschach is the one carrying that "The End is Near" sign.

It wasn't perfect, though...the story of the "New Frontier" editor and his assistant, which isn't reveal until the end in the film. And that makes the ending a little weak, because the film doesn't established who they are-- to the reader of the book, however, it's pretty satisfying. And the sex scene. The sex scene. Okay, this is where the strict attention to detail kinda ruins things. Yes, they even shot the sex scene accurately. But you know...the close-ups of the "passion" in their faces...no, thank you. And that song?! COME ON...! Well, sex in movies never really works out right ("Matrix Reloaded"). But sometimes, it does ("Betty Blue").

And I have to say that the ending here is MUCH BETTER than what was in the original book. The vagina monster attack at the end...? Really? I wanted to beat Alan Moore with his own book after seeing that. And they hint to it throughout the book, but I just didn't know what they hell they were going to do with it. It was SO FREAKING lame! So I hand it to the screenwriters for making a more sensible solution. The approach is different, but the result is the same. Fair enough-- it worked for me!
**NO MORE SPOLIERS**


So, I liked it. I hope they add more to it on DVD. Now, someone has to make "The One".

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Pocket Fishrmen!!

This band was introduced to me by a fellow I used to work with, a native of Austin, Texas named Andy. He would talk and talk and talk about this local band that he absolutely loved. And one day, he FINALLY remembered to bring in a few CDs. And we were simply blown away.

And now, thanks to the inter-webs, someone posted a video of one of their public access television performances. And now, I post it for you to love and enjoy:


Saturday, March 7, 2009

One more thing about this guy...and those people...

If you've never been to the website Crooks and Liars, do it when you have some time on your hands, because you'll be there for a while. It is an absolute treasure-trove of goodies! And here's an example:



They actually managed to dig up an old clip of Rush Limbaugh's short-lived television talk show. I think this is a wonderful example of why people like him need a format where they get to run their mouths without interruption, or interaction.

It's a great thing, to watch people like this have their asses handed to them. So many people are easily bowled over and broken down by people like this. Bullies and blowhards. Most people aren't looking for a fight, and when they have to fight, they just don't know how. And make no mistake...Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter, Hannity-- these are not stupid people. They know what they're doing, and they know how "argue" and "force" their points onto people. And it's important to acknowledge that. Conquering these people, who have been working at their craft for years, is not easy for all people. It takes a special kind of person, who is as smart (and smarter), and as forceful as these right-wing imbeciles.

Their arguments are always easily dismantled. You just have to know how to do it:










Friday, March 6, 2009

Can you really break up with your friends?


Yes, you can. Sometimes, you have to.

Over the last three years, I've had to end quite a few friendships. These are people that I had known for 10-15 years. Now, I wasn't really aware that I was "breaking up" with this people at the time. I just knew that I didn't want them around anymore. Their behavior had come to be so out of control, so toxic, that I just had to get them out of my life. And just a few days ago, I made the decision to let go someone that I've had in my life for nearly 20 years. It wasn't an easy decision to make at all-- well, that's not true. The decision was easy. Understanding the decision was a different story.

As the song says, breaking up is hard to do. But why is it so much harder to break up with your friends? It's almost as if your friendships are more intimate than your boyfriend /girlfriend. Your friends have always been there. They've known you the longest. They've been there through the good times and the bad times. They've seen all the relationships you've been through, known all the jobs you've held. You have your favorite bars, your favorite restaurants. You've been to concerts together, vacations together...you've shared your lives with each other.

But what happened? Somehow, someway, over time, something is different. Something has changed. Maybe you get married, and/or have kids. Maybe you have a new job, with new responsibilities that keep you busier than before. Or, maybe you've met new people. Friendships are like any other relationships; they can either grown and evolve with you, or they cannot. You may change, but your friends may not. For whatever reason, these feelings never come up overnight. They kind of sneak up on you. One day, you're sitting there with your friend(s), and the thought occurs to you...why am I with this person? They may say something that rubs you the wrong way. Or maybe they're just not saying enough. You find that you're either carrying the weight, or they're weight is getting to heavy for you to carry. Or, simply enough, you're just tired of putting up with their bullsh*t.

There was a time in my life when I thought that I could deal with people's craziness and other assorted personality quirks, which is a nice way of saying "their freakish, self-centered, immature, obnoxious, toxic garbage". That time in my life has passed. Maybe it's because I have a three year-old daughter-- they say that becoming a parent changes you. But if I'm going to be honest about this, I felt that I had outgrown these people a few years before my daughter showed up. Maybe becoming older has shortened my patience and tolerance for certain people.

Whatever the reasons, once the decision is made...the execution(s) is easy. I've always been good at being blunt with people. The only thing that's difficult is the reaction you get. Most people opt for email, which is fine (I've had to write a few 3-pagers). Phone calls also work well. I don't really mind saying what needs to be said in person but, you know what? Why go through the trouble? It's a band-aid that needs to be ripped off. Sure it'll sting a big, but it's done it's job, and now it's time to take that dirty, stale, sticky, blood-stained thing off.

It's for the best.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Chattering (Cl)asses


Maybe it's because I was laid-off in December, and waiting for work, then working from home...maybe because while I'm at home, I have cable news on in the background because I want to be informed, and I just like to watch the news. I enjoyed following the presidential campaign. And I WAS enjoying watching Obama's first 40+ days in the White House. But now...now, I'm pretty sick of watching this crap.

I'm sick of the CONSTANT watching of stock tickers. I'm sick of hearing about how sh*tty the economy is. And I'm sick of hearing pompous, over-paid, blathering idiots running their mouths about whether or not President Obama is really doing enough for the economy. All this judgment of a man that inherited a crap economy that we've been stuck in since December of 2007.

How much constructive speculation can you really offer about someone that hasn't been on the job long enough to effect anything. Is watching the Dow Jones REALLY a proper gauge for his work? Or is it more of a gauge for the disapproval of the morons, the criminals, the...douchebags that got us into this mess in the first place.

And aside from all of this, President Obama's poll numbers are very high among the voters that put him into office. Now, the funny thing about that is listening to some of these cable news people that are questioning the intelligence of the American people based on these polls numbers. As if to suggest that we dumb-ass American citizens don't know well enough-- that Obama's high approval ratings are the result of people with their heads of their asses, because if we knew ANYTHING AT ALL...we would know that the STOCK MARKET is the ONLY INDICATION of how the President is doing.

Listen, jerks-- I've watched you pontificate and run your traps about Obama for over two years. And every time you questioned his strategies, EVERY SINGLE TIME you've doubted his decisions...for example, when under attack by the McCain camp, he decided to move forward, as opposed to "fighting back". After all the second-guessing...you were ALL WRONG.

And now, after 40+ days in office, do you really, truly think that you know what this guy is capable of? Why don't you all do what the President asked you to do-- if you have better ideas, BRING THEM TO HIM. Offer him solutions, instead of bitching and moaning. Bring something to the table besides your self-righteous indignation.

But that would just shut you up, wouldn't it? Then what would we watch?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Twit-nation




I don't remember when I was introduced to Twitter. It may have been a year or two ago that I either discovered it on my own, or a friend sent me a link to the site. And I remember at the time thinking "well, this is kind-of dumb...you can only enter 140 characters at a time? What can you do with that?!" It just seemed like another style of blogging, but for lazy people.
Link
Now, it's everywhere. Celebrities use it. The news media uses it. And now members of Congress use it.

I mean, Facebook (or as I call it "Nosybook") is bad enough with its "What are you doing now?" subject lines. Yes, I do use it, but only to let my friends know things like how far along I've progressed with my book, or to make the occasional snarky comment some of the goings on of things and stuff. But there are people that will fill in EVERY LITTLE THING they do. And honestly, if I really wanted to know that much about your life, I'd just follow you around. I've never been much of a stalker in "real life", so its digital form doesn't really do much for me either.

So yes, I have a Twitter account as well. And as of this moment, I've entered four Tweets in nine months. And with its current popularity, I still don't see myself really using this "tool". I don't think I have the kind of devotion and narcissism required push the minutia of my life onto others. But, now that I think about it...maybe I do have a use for Twitter...

...I could "Tweet" about my blog.

Charles' Twitter page

Monday, March 2, 2009

I want Rush Limbaugh to succeed


Yes, that's right-- I said it. I want Rush Limbaugh to succeed. I want Republicans to listen to him, and I want them to follow him. Yes. I. Do.

And not only do I want people listening to Rush, I want them to listen to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Anne Coulter, and the others of that ilk. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do! The more, the better. And if you've never listened to them...even if the mere thought of using up decent brain cells in absorbing the garbage that pours from their vacuous traps, that's even better. Look-- I'll even provide the links:

Rush Limbaugh
Glenn Beck
Sean Hannity
Anne Coulter
Bill O'Reilly
Laura Ingrahm

Go ahead, now-- they won't bite.

You see, ever since "Numb-Nuts" left the White House, and "Grampa" and his nurse had their asses handed to them, the far-right wingnuts of the Republican Party have been frothing like rabid squirrels. The members of this "chattering class" want EVERYONE to know that the American voters have made a huge mistake. They throw out words like "socialism" and "communism", use phrases like "the-redistribution-of-wealth" (although to these people, that may be one 'compound word').

All of this criticism against President Obama and his plans and policies is ridiculous. The man has been in office for over 40 days, and they're already trying to nail the coffin shut...even when there is no coffin in sight! Now sure, we can all speculate about what he's doing and how he's doing it...but really, how can you review a film, while the script is still being written?

And where was the far-right when the previous administration drove this country into a ditch? They really had absolutely nothing to say, did they? Because their team was in charge. And what kind of a person would critique themselves? Only someone interested in evolving, and growing. But then again, when it comes to ideology, many on the far-right lean towards creationism-- like creating their own version of history.

But, given the opportunity, what solutions would any of these people offer to cure the ills of America's problems? Wait, what's that? You hear crickets? So do I! You know why? Because these people have no answers, no solutions....nothing, absolutely NOTHING constructive, intelligent, or practical to add to the debate. Oh sure, these people can, as my mother would say, run their mouths like a sheep-a-shittin'. And that's good-- that's what they get paid to do. That is a valuable skill in-and-of itself. The world needs talkers, that's for sure. But there's something to be said for the content of the words that one uses.

Anyone can merely regurgitate common talking points. Anyone can belch up stale rhetoric. And anyone who's every had the taste of bile in the back of their throats, just lightly tapping the back of their tongue enough to catch that hint of bitterness...anyone can make the familiar criticisms their own. And that's the key, when talking about these chattering wingnut conservative blow-hards; FAMILIAR. We all know what they're going to say, before they even say it. Some say it loudly, some say it harshly, some say it with a smirk, some scream it with anger and contempt. But beyond the delivery...it's all the same shit.

And that's why we should all be listening to the Limbaugh crowd-- and WANT them to win. Because in the end, their stale, tired old ideas will be the death of them, and everyone like them. So yes, let them have their 14-20 million listeners and followers. Let the government officials brown up their noses, and lick the dirty, sweaty, calloused, corn-and-bunion infested feet of the celebrities of the far-right. Because, like the clearing of the smoke of his bloated, gassy ideology, Rush Limbaugh, and all the other dimwits, will be exposed for what they are: intellectually bankrupt, devoid of ideas, breathing their last breaths.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

CPAC's-a-bore




Oh these poor, miserable, silly little Republicans....

You know, I really, sincerely feel bad for Conservatives. Not Republicans, mind you...but the Conservatives that have real values about real issues, and truly care about people. Not these idealogical, morally bankrupt, and intellectually challenged imbeciles currently "running" the GOP.

The over-bloated Republican cheerleading camp known as CPAC has finally been put out to pasture this week. And thank goodness for that! Not because of the danger in getting the most powerful members of the Republican Party "brain trust" together. Only because, well, I hate seeing injured animals writhing and convulsing in pain. And the whole gang was there...the automaton, the hockey MILF, The Omen, Satan's bony whore, and a big-fat idiot.

Look, I've listened to these people. Being a moderate, I'm interested in hearing what both liberals and conservatives have to say. After all, neither one of these parties can really be all things to all people. But again, if you want to find "real conservatives"...you don't look at the current Republican party. It's rare that you see a collective group like this that are so CLUELESS and OBLIVIOUS...a group that is so wrapped up in smelling their own farts that they can't smell their own house burning down.

Really-- listen to their words. Listen closely. THEN, look at their actions. That's the most important thing when dealing with these people. The SAME COMPLAINTS they had about Barack Obama-- "Sure, he's got real pretty words, but where are his actions?!" Well, Republican Party...that's a good question to ask yourselves. You talk of tax cuts, as if they've never been tried before. Where have you been for the last 30 years? Sure, the concept of tax cuts sounds GREAT on paper. But it's the greed and corruption of those pesky CEOs and wealthy people that get in the way of those ideas. And the ideas of spreading democracy across the Middle East sounds rosy and neat! But if ONLY you understood the people you wanted to "help". Protecting our borders is a noble idea...but what does attacking and berating our new "servant class" via immigration law really have to do with that? And gay marriage...sigh. Talk about a waste of tax payer time and money...what the HELL do YOU CARE about homosexuals getting married?! Unless your one of those hyper-religious, or self-hating Republican gays, there's no reason or justification for legislating bigotry. So why? Why are these people so out of touch? And why are they pushing forward, in spite of themselves?!

I think listening to Rush Limbaugh speak at CPAC really says it all. The number one concern of the Republican Party today? Winning. That's it. They want to win. They want to be in charge. That's it, and that's all. They really believe that if they continue to spout the same rhetoric and talking points that maybe...JUST MAYBE...the American people will finally get it! But we DO get it! You people don't. You see, I really understand Rush when he says that he wants President Obama to fail. Obama has to fail, for the current Republican Party to live. He has to fail, for Rush Limbaugh to continue to be employed. Because, you see...the Republican Party is dying. It's dying a slow, painful, violent death. And it will rise again, like a Phoenix from the flame. But it won't be the same party that we see flailing around today. People like Limbaugh, and Coulter, and Hannity...they're dinosaurs. And with the state of the economy being the way it is, they're scared! They're all in danger of losing their jobs. And all they're trying to do is stay employed, by pushing old and tired ideology; it's the only thing they know! So, either they're going to change...or they're going to die.

For the sake of the country, I'll take the latter.