Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not funny.

This "joke" has been circulating around Facebook:

Dear Lord, this past year you have taken my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. I just want you to know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.
Now I'm no Republican, and I certainly didn't vote for Chris Christie. Nor do I agree with the governor's mostly draconian proposed cuts to state agencies and services, particularly for schools. However, I really can't abide this kind of humor.

Go ahead, tease Christie about his weight or how he used the U.S. Attorney's Office for political gain. That's fine. But wishing death on someone (other than, you know, the true monsters out there), now matter how much you disagree with or oppose him, is not acceptable, even if you're doing it in a wisecrack. This joke was appalling when I first heard it with President Obama as the punch line, and it's no less awful now.

Movie Review: IN THE LOOP (2009)

"In the Loop" is a writhing, nasty, acidic takedown of government bureaucracy in the U.K. and the U.S., in which even the apparently principled characters are unlikeable. It's also one of the funniest movies I've seen in the past few years.

Set mostly in drab but chaotic offices and halls of power, director and co-writer's Armando Iannucci's satire takes aim at the U.S.-led and U.K.-abetted rush to war in Iraq, without ever mentioning by name the targeted country or the names of the American president or the British prime minister.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


From a recent NY Times article, "With No Jobs, Plenty of Time for Tea Party":

“If you quit giving people that stuff (government assistance), they would figure out how to do it on their own.” -- Unemployed teabagger and Social Security recipient Tom Grimes, who, according to the article, once asked his Democratic congressman for help getting government health care.

Movie Review: ANTICHRIST (2009)

I'm kind of disappointed that I don't feel moved to say much about provocateur director Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist." It was greeted at last year's Cannes film festival with a mix of outrage, befuddlement, adulation and even incredulous laughter. In fact, Von Trier even received a special citation that decried the work as "the most misogynist" of all the director's movies. All I can muster, however, is a "meh."

Not that there aren't any indelible images or moments. There's a clearly animatronic talking dead fox, which utters the movie's most infamous line, "Chaos reigns," as well as some genital mutilation. In close-up. But don't worry, ladies. Here, old Lars is an equal opportunity director.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A proper introduction.

Well, I guess I should really start writing something now. I've been creeping around the notion of starting a blog for months now, if not years. And now, well ... I don't want to bore you with a protracted explanation. Here it is. I hope you follow along.

Politically, I'm quite liberal, although I favor a robust national defense, albeit one without so many imperial outposts. Also, I flavor my politics with a dash of libertarianism. Maybe a pinch. Libertarianism, in my mind, is the hormonal, solipsistic, misunderstood teenager of American political thought. It wants to be left alone to do whatever it wants, and it doesn't want to be told what to do. A little petulance is good in politics, though, which is why I don't mind a little libertarianism, particularly when it comes to drug legalization and gay marriage. I'm decidedly pro-regulation, pro-labor and pro-tax, especially for our highest earners, who have seen their tax rates decline and their wealth increase gradually over the past 30 or so years while the poor and the middle class have seen their wages and benefits stagnate. I believe we need a strong mixed economy, with a government designed to support basic human needs (infrastructure, education, public safety, health care) and a private sector that encourages growth and innovation, particularly for entrepreneurs and small-business owners.

As for religion, I don't believe in a god or the God, at least I've come to the conclusion that there isn't one, and I don't go to church, but I'm Catholic. "Huh?" you ask. "Exactly," I answer.

Religion and politics are NOT off-limits here. I expect -- nay, demand -- spirited debate about everything here. Just think of this place as a bar where you can debate religion and politics. And please, take that "bar" metaphor seriously. Go ahead and drink, my friends!

Oh yeah, I'm also a bit of a movie nerd. But more on that as we go along. For the time being, here's a taste of what I love:

Heaven on our minds.

It's Easter week, and that can only mean one thing:


I dare you not to get down.

Hello there.

This is my first post. Just wanted to get it rolling before I begin in earnest.