Friday, February 17, 2006

moved.

My blog has moved.

You can find me at www.ohyouprettythings.net.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

GOP may be out of step with public. No Shit.

I am leery of the Terri Schiavo case because I think it's a major diversionary tactic by the Right to keep our minds off, let's face it, far more important issues. Of course, I think every life is important--it's why I'm against war, the death penalty, etc.--but let's face it, Wolfowitz's nomination to the World Bank has the potential to negatively affect far more lives than just one severely brain-damaged woman's. But I'm going to touch on it at least a bit because I think everyone should read this Washington Post article. Especially Democratic lawmakers.

How much clearer does it need to be before SOME Senator will act? Come on, Barbara Boxer! You stuck your neck out before! John Kerry? Helloooooo? Teddy Kennedy, you always love talking shit. Harry frickin' Reid? You're doing a great job so far. Barack Obama? You were supposed to be the hope of the party! Hillary Clinton? This falls under health care! Why is it that we can elect Representatives who will stand their ground and say what they think, and our Senators are by and large a bunch of overpaid blowhards?

Yeah, I said it. That's right.

Anyway, the GOP is CLEARLY out of step with the mainstream. I mean, they want to quibble over one woman's right to die when not one, but two films in favor of the right to die won Oscars this year, one for Best Picture (as well as Director, Actress, and Supporting Actor) and the other Best Foreign Film. And one of them was directed by a committed Republican who's even held elected office.

Sarcasm aside. this is yet one more reason why the Republicans will eventually cannibalize themselves. Americans will stomach a large amount of hypocrisy, but at some point they remember that the same people who preach "too much government" are the ones interfering in our daily lives to a far greater extent than those "activist liberals."

Whenever a silly little issue like this suddenly takes national precedence--and let's face it, it's little. It's one brain-damaged woman. Yes, all life is important. I agree with Bush when he says "But in extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to err on the side of life." (from the Post article) But there are millions of people dying each day because of actions or non-actions of the Bush regime, whether it's our refusal to hand out aid to Africa or our war in Iraq or our funding cuts right here in the U.S. of A. We've just seen the nomination of a rabid neo-con, Wolfowitz, to the World Bank. It just makes me wonder what else they're trying to sneak underneath the radar while passing eleventh-hour laws (on Palm Sunday. Shouldn't they be in church?) to keep one woman alive.

Or maybe this is just a well-orchestrated part of the anti-Eastwood backlash that probably was responsible for handing him the Oscar in the first place. I mean, Million Dollar Baby's a good flick, but it isn't a great one.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Show Dean some love.

Now that he's officially in charge, I feel like the Democrats are my party again.
So you should too.

Support Howard.


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Friday, February 11, 2005

Arthur Miller is dead.

At age 89.

The third great American dramatist is gone (the first two being O'Neill and Williams). Also known as the third Mr. Marilyn Monroe, for those of you more into Hollywood trivia than serious literature.

Who am I kidding, no one reads this flippin' thing anyway.

So I shouldn't feel bad about having nothing interesting to say.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Maybe HE'S Evil

From a very interesting New York Times article today (read it here) about the use of the word "Evil" in relation to psychopathic criminals:

". . .common among brutal killers; so is malignant narcissism, a personality type characterized not only by grandiosity but by fantasies of unlimited power and success, a deep sense of entitlement, and a need for excessive admiration."

Sound like any Presidents you know?

The article goes on to quote a Dr. Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist from California, that "The fact is that there aren't many in whom I couldn't find some redeeming attributes and some humanity. As far as we can tell, the causes of their behavior are biological, psychological and social, and do not so far demonstrably include the work of Lucifer."

Ha. Very funny.

I have problems with the use of the word "evil" in general, many of which are argued by this article, but mostly because designating certain people as "evil" is a categorization meant to separate them from the rest of us. As in: there is no way that I am capable of doing what Jeffrey Dahmer did, he's evil.

Well, I would think most of us don't think we're capable of Jeffrey Dahmer levels, but what about Lynndie England levels? The U.S. military, backed by our government and especially our new Inquisitor--oops, I mean Attorney General, has taken pains to portray prisoner abuse as the work of a few bad apples rather than systemic, but I don't believe it. While I also don't really buy the "we were just following orders excuse"--while it's a somewhat cheesy movie, I'll reference A Few Good Men, where the Marines in question were not convicted of the murder, but were dishonorably discharged with "Conduct unbecoming an officer"--I do heartily believe that trying to distance ourselves from "criminals" does absolutely nothing to figure out what makes people commit what we see as crimes.

French playwright, author, proud homosexual and thief, Jean Genet explored the depths of morality, complicity, and crime in many works, the most notable (to me) being The Thief's Journal, an extended love letter to his various partners in love and crime which explores the relationship between crime and love, and Funeral Rites, an extended meditation on the nature of a Nazi soldier and a French collaborator, where Genet confesses attraction and affection for those who killed his lover. Genet's writing makes the abject beautiful and calls into question many of our moral judgments, one of which being the nature of evil.

To genuinely "solve" the problem of crime, society needs to dig far deeper than simply attaching Bush's favorite epithet to those whose actions are morally objectionable to the majority of Western civilization.

I've used this quote before, and I'll apply it again here, from another man whose writing focuses on the nature of good and evil, beauty and ugliness, Yukio Mishima:

"Is there such a thing as morality without bias?"

Sunday, February 06, 2005

I finally saw Sideways...

And now can officially hate it rather than unofficially dislike it.

From first hearing about this film, I wasn't terribly interesting. Then it started getting big sloppy blowjobs from every critic who saw it, so I figured it was my job to at least give it a chance. But not until I'd seen Kinsey, Closer, Finding Neverland, and A Very Long Engagement, and that pretty much used up one trip to Philly. A film a day.

I live in BFE, so Sideways finally showed up at a theater near me last week. But so did Million Dollar Baby, and I like Clint and Hilary and Morgan far better, so I saw that first. Then I went out of town, and saw Hotel Rwanda while I was gone, and now I'm back and have finally sat through a movie that by now I was completely sick of hearing about.

And what did I think?

Well, to be fair, Paul Giamatti is wonderful. He's a great actor (and I'm not going to insult him by throwing the word "character" in front of actor), and he really shows that here. Mostly it's in the eyes, when his character's had too much to drink and is coming to terms with his failures. It hurts.

Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen are gorgeous, and frankly, the biggest point of irritation for me is trying to believe that these lovely, spunky, intelligent, mature women fell for a couple of immature, whining bastards like the two leads.

There, I said it. I despise both of them. I hate Miles (Giamatti) for being a critical, whining, spineless bastard who sabotages everything in his life and then wonders why people hate him for it. And I hate Jack (Thomas Haden Church) for being a cheating bastard who tries to perk up his friend but whines "you don't understand the things I need to do."

I hate the pretentious speech Miles gives about his love for Pinot Noir, about how it's a difficult grape to grow, blah blah blah, obvious metaphor for how difficult a human being he is to like, but how it's worth it, really, oh golly gee, beautiful woman, fall in love with my vulnerability. Blech.

I hate how every joke seems to come at someone's expense, like the "fat girl" who's "two tons of fun," and how of course the wild woman (Sandra Oh) secretly wants to fall in love and settle down with this immature idiot of a man--who is still infinitely more likable than his friend, who can't even admit the truth to the friend he lies for.

I feel like I did after seeing Ghost World, which I'd heard people rave about for ages. This movie is far more cynical even than I am, and I'm a critic. Supposedly there's something life-affirming about this man finding love with a woman he in no way deserves, but as a woman, I'm offended by the suggestion.

I can see why critics like it, though. After all, it's a movie with a failed writer and a failed actor getting to score with gorgeous women and blather pretentiously about wine. I see the connection.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

If you've ever taken my advice before:

Go see Hotel Rwanda. Now.

And go here and tell your Senators to vote NO on Gonzalez.