Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You Can Be Gay With Matt, But Be Straight With Me

As much as I can't stand Jim and Pam's smugness - exacerbated by this season's wedding and baby - the Office still occasionally wows me. Last week's happy hour episode was incredible. The premise was on par with Sideways-level realism. The reason Sideways was one of, if not the, best movie of the past decade was the "realism" factor. That movie spoke to me - directly. I felt in watching that film, the way life has felt for me in the more interesting and dramatic moments. It is nearly impossible to capture that essence in a movie. I love all sorts of movies for their craft and their story, but very few, I love for their realism or relatability. And the Office captured it last week. The Office and Parks and Rec both are able to sometimes tap into it. A credit to Greg Daniels...

The premise was excellent. Oscar has a crush on a warehouse dude. He tries to organize a great big office happy hour to get Matt to come. (not unlike Gatsby doing for Daisy). And that's the whole premise of the show. A few extra characters show up to the happy hour and Michael, in perfect quixotic form, tries to turn into "Date Mike," using his encyclopedic knowledge of reality tv dating shows to try and impress a nice girl. The irony, of course, is Mike being himself is quite charming with the girl and it is only when he realizes he is on a date, does he turn into a total d-bag (kangol hat - perfect detail) and instead ends up wooing the cougar bar manager. Brilliant and tragic.
Drill, Baby, Drill

Obama decides to drill

Hey...when you're broke and our normal suppliers of oil fund wars against us...drilling isn't the worst idea. Even if we know it ain't good in the long term.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Good For Her

Sandra Bullock has decided to file for divorce from cheating hubby Jesse James.

A source close to the couple tells now says she has made up her mind and already taken steps toward obtaining a divorce.

As more and more women come forward claiming affairs with the West Coast Choppers star, sources say that Sandra is humiliated and feels that her entire marriage was one big lie.

It's about time one of these chicks nutted up and punished their husbands for their cheating. It's tough and probably unfair to judge others choices, but the Hillary Clinton's and Elin Nordegren's of the world make it much easier for dudes to cheat. They know they can just apologize afterward and these ladies will take them back.

Why I am talking out loud about this issue?
Shrewd Point

David Brooks has a great column today on the "Sandra Bullock" test and happiness (from career or marriage).

He draws a compelling conclusion:

In short, modern societies have developed vast institutions oriented around the things that are easy to count, not around the things that matter most. They have an affinity for material concerns and a primordial fear of moral and social ones.

And then Andrew Sullivan pulls an end around and makes a very clever conservative-family oriented argument in favor of gay marriage.

I've written before that I support gay marriage, but am not taking to the streets over the issue. Sullivan's point is the smartest argument in favor of gay marriage I've yet to hear and I imagine had the Prop 8 opponents taken this tact, they would have won.
Tea Partiers

Are they legit?

An article about following the money.

Regardless if there are elements of a lunatic fringe within the tea partiers, it strikes me as unwise to be dismissive of the larger message, ie the size and scope of the federal government.

Point is - America is at a crossroads right now. We are broke. There are ascendant economic threats on the horizon - China and India. We have allies in decline - both economically and militarily - most of Western Europe. We have pesky threats in the form of terrorism and their masters - various governments in the Middle East and Central Asia.

What we do today matters for a long time forward. Obama knows it. The tea partiers know it. We put in place policies today that will either enrich or further indebt us. It is scary, isn't it, to think of the massive amount of government debt? It is too difficult to wrap our little heads around. And that should freak us out. We are democratic citizens and therefore supposed to be engaged and aware of what our government is doing. Part of the whole problem and anger from the financial crisis is no one freaking understands it or how it happened. We trusted the bankers and the regulators and meanwhile, they took the most sophisticated and rich and powerful financial system in the history of the planet and nearly crushed it overnight. Granted, the collapse was 20 years in the making, but the shocking thing was how ignorant and in-the-dark 99.9% or all non-Nouriel Roubini Americans were about the threat. To us, and for all we know, it almost DID happen overnight.

It is why I'm not a fan of the snarky liberal commentators dismissing the tea partiers as tea-baggers and writing them off as lunatics. There is a valid concern beneath it all.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why He Blogs

Andrew Sullivan on Why He Blogs. Nice essay. My favorite point:

A blogger will air a variety of thoughts or facts on any subject in no particular order other than that dictated by the passing of time. A writer will instead use time, synthesizing these thoughts, ordering them, weighing which points count more than others, seeing how his views evolved in the writing process itself, and responding to an editor’s perusal of a draft or two. The result is almost always more measured, more satisfying, and more enduring than a blizzard of posts. The triumphalist notion that blogging should somehow replace traditional writing is as foolish as it is pernicious. In some ways, blogging’s gifts to our discourse make the skills of a good traditional writer much more valuable, not less. The torrent of blogospheric insights, ideas, and arguments places a greater premium on the person who can finally make sense of it all, turning it into something more solid, and lasting, and rewarding.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Healthcare Hoo Ha

I have a tendency and I don't know what is says of me, but once something is done, I can generally accept it and move on and actually lose my passion for the debate. I'm not a fan of the gigantic healthcare overhaul, but now that the law has passed, I'm not overly worried or considering moving to Canada or planning on buying a gun. I'm just planning on paying more taxes for other people's healthcare, that's all. Is this is something I'm supposed to be excited about? Does that make me a good Democrat? A good person? A bad one?

I was somewhat disgusted by Obama and Biden's press conference yesterday morning. Stuck in traffic on my way to work from NoHo, where I dropped my car off for service (to save $500 since going to the dealer is costly and I know I'm going to need my cash), I caught Biden's sycophantic introduction of Obama. He tongue was so far up Obama's ass, I was having trouble understanding the words. He seemed to think passing a healthcare bill was the greatest achievement by any living soul in the past 20 years. Obama said himself it was 100 years in the making. Really? How does he figure that? Did they have HMOs and Medicare in 1910? Did I miss something?

As far as I can tell, the plan is to spend money. To throw it around to as many people as possible - the uninsured, the seniors, the small businesses. Fine, good. Who pays for it? No one. Not until 2018. Who pays for it then? Oh...the rich. Whoever that is...if we have any rich people left.

I feel like a family who just bought a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, with good schools, is safe...all the things you other words, except it costs more than you make. More than you earn. In the perfect world, of course I want healthcare for everyone, I want everyone to live in nice safe neighborhoods, and go to good schools, and to be happy and jolly. But in the real world, I find it quite hard enough to pay my own bills, taxes, and car repairs.

In the end, if this is all about getting the uninsured insured, I can live with it. You can take from me a little more each month to get everyone covered. I can sign onto that. But was it that? Is it that? Why do you need a 2700 page bill to tax the producers a little more to give to the less fortunate.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Toss Up

What girl to go for? An Academy Award Winning Movie Star or Nazi Tattooed Porn Actress?

From LBN:

DOCS: JESSE’S NAZI MCGEE: Shocking new developments in the Sandra Bullock - Jesse James- Bombshell McGee love troika - McGee’s Nazi white power ties as revealed in legal docs. The woman who allegedly had an affair with Sandra Bullock's husband Jesse James supports 'white power,' gives the Nazi salute "Heil Hitler" and does pornographic video shoots in her home in the San Diego area, according to charges in court papers obtained exclusively by While Michelle "Bombshell" McGee alleged she carried on an 11-month affair with Jesse James, who apologized to Bullock Thursday thanks to a purported $30K payoff from a fan mag, legal docs paint a much darker picture of the tatted dominatrix stripper.

Choices, choices.
"Damn, woman, you only shoot people when they're eating supper?"

Best line from the pilot episode of "Justified," the new Timothy Olyphant show on FX.

It's still a bit early to judge, but I like the show. Definitely influenced by Miami Vice. Godard just might be right...all it really takes is a girl and a gun.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Another remarkable year at 36. From Simmons.

Better than ever, which really shouldn't be the case because, you know, he just turned 36. We invited him to an ESPN dinner at Sundance, and he told us there were three reasons he's not aging: a no-sugar diet, a sleep journal and a steady supply of undetectable PEDs from the revolutionary Suns training staff. (Fine, I made the last one up.) He said the no-sugar diet made him recover faster after games and especially for back-to-backs. In fact, half the Suns are watching their sugar intake now. Nash brought Jared Dudley with him to dinner; Jared was reading the menu and asking Nash, "Can I have this? What about this?" like he was eating with Harley Pasternak or something. It was high comedy. Not only does Nash make his teammates better, he orders for them. Anyway, I don't see him going downhill anytime soon.


From LBN:


Relentless attacks against al-Qaeda in the Pakistan tribal region appear to have driven Osama bin Laden and other top leaders deeper into hiding, leaving the organization rudderless and incapable of planning sophisticated operations, CIA Director Leon Panetta said Wednesday.

So profound is al-Qaeda’s disarray that one of its lieutenants, in a recently intercepted message, pleaded to bin Laden to come to the group’s rescue and provide some leadership, Panetta told The Washington Post in an interview.

With the drone attacks and surge, as far as I can tell, the Obama Administration seems to be doing pretty well thus far in the WOT. Also, a few attempted AQ attacks failed, partially due to the stupidity of Al Queda...but hey...their loss is our gain. Who knows whether their stupidity is due to the decimation of their hide outs, training, and most sophisticated operatives.
How to Write About Porn

Just in case you were pondering a career change.
It's a Movie, People!

Complaining about the The Hurt Locker's accuracy.

If people wanted accuracy, why would they pay to go to a theater? They'd simply live their own lives. Movies are about lying to get at an emotional truth and tell a good story.

You want to experience war - go fight - don't expect to get it in the multiplex. Jeez.
The Gay Terrorist

Hat tip, Andy.

It could be a movie. Oh, wait.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Mickey Kaus Democrat

The semi-famous blogger is running against Barbara Boxer.

RCP: Why are you constantly plagued with allegations by fellow liberals that you are a conservative?

Kaus: Because I like sniping at doctrines that I think have undermined the goals of liberalism. For example, unions have helped destroy the public schools in Los Angeles and throughout California. Public schools were once a great liberal achievement. Rich and poor people attended the same schools or at least they were in the same school system. When I grew up, I went to a rich public school but the idea of going to a private school was considered wacky. Now, because the public schools are so deteriorated, because you can't fire bad teachers, anybody who has any money tries to get out of them. And they go to private schools or they go to exclusive suburbs where they mingle only with other affluent people. So liberal support of unions have destroyed the liberal ideal of public education.

And liberal support of amnesty without border control undermines unskilled wages of the lowest earners in our society. There is some sort of money minimum that you need to have respect and if you can't earn a decent living just showing up and doing unskilled work - if work doesn't pay because you are competing against desperate immigrants from very very poor countries - then its hard to achieve the liberal ideal of social equality. The liberal position on immigration should be, we like immigrants but we have to get control of the borders.

I support him. But I don't understand why he thinks universal healthcare contributes to "social equality." To me, universal healthcare just seems expensive and unsustainable. Show me Medicaid and Medicare work and won't break the bank and then roll it out over the whole country. I fail to see the problem with that plan.
Rejected on the Dancefloor, Get Your Ass Kicked

Hat tip, Gomez

Obviously, this story is awful...but let me ask this...why is it worse because it happened to a woman than a man? Male on male violence accounts for something like 90% of assaults - guys routinely get their asses kicked in bars on the street, etc - and if it happens to a woman, it's a story.

Welcome to wonderful world of "equality."
Hatley On the HuffPo

Director's statement on Levon Helm documentary.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Whale Meat

Served in Santa Monica illegally.

"Someone should not be able to walk into a restaurant and order a plate of an endangered species," U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said in a statement.

I agree. In order to eat endangered species one ought to be in a super-exclusive bond-villain style private party.
Strike Against Online Gaming

Headline: Korean couple kill their own infant while nurturing virtual baby


On the perils of stay-at-home dadhood.

This little scene says something about a basic condition of at-home dadhood: Isolation. You spend your days in Mamaworld, especially out here in the suburbs, living in strange detachment because you’re not female. Shunned is too strong a word, but don't look for full acceptance and membership in the mama’s parenting club. Usually, you don't even go to the meetings. The obvious solution is to connect with other at-home men, easy to find these days, but we don’t connect so well. We just don’t. Others agree with me here. I blame shame, the monster isolator.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ha! Yes.

On women in the workplace:

I’m not saying women shouldn’t work. And I’m not saying women shouldn’t have children - frankly there’s no one else who can. All I’m saying is don’t buy into the feminist line that you can have babies and a gold-plated career and six orgasms before breakfast. Life is about compromises. What are you willing to trade?

I've got six orgasms for before breakfast if anyone has a Joe Montana rookie card.

Superman Reboot

From Christopher Nolan and the rest of his Batman team. It will probably be good.

Here is my idea for casting: Meg Ryan as the Joker. No make up necessary.

Listening to NPR this morning talking about jobs, economy, etc. One story was about unemployment benefits being extended in some states up to 99 weeks. Another story was about Bank of America eliminating overdraft fees and how banks have made tons of money in the past 10-15 years charging enormous overdraft fees.

What strikes me about these two stories - both "progressive" steps aimed at helping the less well off - ie unemployed and those who overdraft - is how completely and totally unproductive they are. Unemployment benefits are helpful insofar as they help keep people afloat when they are between jobs. But at this level and length of unemployment, the more worrisome factor is the loss of skills and affordability of these benefits. At a certain point, this has to be unsustainable. As for overdraft fees - this is how banks make money? What a crock. This is how Americans make a buck now - charging others for their own money. We should not mistake this for wealth.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Art of Apology

In Curb Your Enthusiam the most over-used plot devise is Larry David needing to apologize to someone. Can this stupid devise get any more tiring? Often, it makes me want to throw up my hands and say "who cares!"

Re-watching a Seinfeld episode yesterday - they used the same plot devise, but much more effectively. Kramer throws a banana back at a monkey and the monkey gets depressed and the caretakers insist Kramer apologize. Now that it is a funny and absurd use of the plot devise. Much better than any of the Curb episodes - especially from last season.

Monday, March 08, 2010

What Did I Think of the Oscars?

No comment. I'll let Tyler Durden speak for me.

Hat tip, Phil.
Why I Don't Internet Date

Convicted serial killer was dating game champ.

Now I'm well aware most internet daters are probably not serial killers. I also realize dating shows are not internet dating. One is for fame whores and the other is for lonely losers. But they are kinda sorta related in the way they reduce romance to a transaction and encourage a salesmen approach to wooing the opposite sex.

And I believe, by going at it this way, you open the door to serial killers and other psychopaths because their whole game is to fool you into thinking they are normal before chopping you into little pieces. It is easy to imagine why the serial killer psychopath would enjoy the process of the dating game and internet dating because of the vanity and conquest involved with the entire phony process.

But here's why it's scary - the rejection inevitably involved with internet dating or dating shows - is likely to set the psycho-serial killer off. And you want to be as far as possible from the psycho when they go psycho.
Let Me Get This Straight...

...from Mo'nique's point of view -- if she wins the Oscar, it is because of merit, but if someone else wins the Oscar, it is because of politics.

There is at least some absurd justice in that people who are full of shit usually out themselves pretty fast. Like when they open their mouth.

Friday, March 05, 2010

And So It Begins...

...or should I say, goes on.

California will try to tax soda.

Is nanny-statism a worry? Yes. I'm not a Limbaugh fan, but I heard him talk on Leno about his huge opposition to government run healthcare and his logic was sound.

He believes healthcare is a lever by which government will insert itself - detrimentally - into our lives. Once the government pays for healthcare, it can insist on all sorts of nanny-state behavior in the name of controlling healthcare costs. It can insist we don't smoke, don't drink, don't eat fast food.

In my America we're allowed to eat like shit and drink our asses off if we so choose. It's both what sucks and what is great about this place.
The Mail

Is keeping the post office unsustainable?

Is it worth $100 per person, per year?

Head of GE declines bonus for second consecutive year.
KSM Trial Moving Back to Military Court

A big reversal in the Obama Administration's legal position.

Next thing you know, we'll be re-invading Iraq.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Male Immaturity

George Will criticizes male immaturity.

I must say, he doesn't present a very compelling argument why male immaturity is bad. Does it effect the well being of society? How? So what if guys don't get married until they're 40? Just because it's been done in the past, doesn't mean it's preferable. Rather dull thinking from a normally smart dude.