A More Perfect Union

Worked last time.


Tuesday Tits

Via Lockwood, via Wikipedia.

What can I say, I am a fan.




My apologies, sir. It did sound rather harsh. I didn't intend for it to come out that way.

It's all true, you know.

Not that anyone has any right to expect you to be.

Something that you are not, I mean.

You've gotta be you, right?

That's all one can ever hope to be.

If one can manage it.

Being oneself, that is.

Hey, do you know that he used to sit right there?

Yes, right where the gentleman is seated.

His drink of choice?

Daiquiris, sir.

The drink became popular in the 40s. Wartime rationing made whiskey, vodka, and other liquors, hard to come by, yet because of Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy which opened up trade and travel relations with Latin America, Cuba and the Caribbean, rum was easily obtainable. The Good Neighbor Policy helped make Latin America seem fashionable. As a consequence, rum-based drinks, once frowned upon as being the domain of sailors and down-and-outs, also became fashionable, and the Daiquiri saw a tremendous rise in popularity in the US.

Not that it would have mattered. Not here. Not in the 60's, nor in the 40's. This is The Wulfshead, sir. You would be surprised at some of the concoctions the patrons order. But not him, sir.

We all are creatures of habit, I guess.

Gerald Ford liked a gin tonic. He had common cause with Queen Elizabeth, who also likes gin and tonic, with three slices of lemon, if you please.

Those are different times, now.

George W. Bush says he doesn’t drink at all.

And it is a courageous politician who would dare be seen in public with any kind of alcoholic beverage other than a whiskey or a beer.

Nothing wrong with a whiskey or a beer, now. A safe solid choice for a politician. Harry Truman did enjoy his bourbon! And, as for beer, the tradition can be traced all the way back to George Washington---English-style Porter, sir.

May I bring the gentleman another Black Forest Berry iced tea?



And the WIENER is............

Hey, don’t look at me, I voted along with the majority on that poll. But then again, I also voted for Al Gore in 2000. And change you can believe in 2008.

See a pattern there?

This goes to show you, this is a Republic we live in - not a direct Democracy.

As for the TIME, its editors made it no secret that it ultimately came to them, the editors, to choose who the actual Person of the Year would be and they, the editors, reserved the right to disagree with the majority.

This is the American way.

The story goes that, back in the Gilded Age, artist Frederic Remington telegrammed the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst to tell him all was quiet in Cuba and "There will be no war." Hearst responded "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

And thus, the term “yellow journalism” was coined to describe the kind of coverage that helped promote the Spanish-American War of 1898.

Closer to our times, Blueprint Magazine, the official publication of the DLC (a plagiarized edition of Commentary and the Murdoch’s Weekly Standard) has been credited with lining up many reluctant Democrats behind Bush’s unilateral venture in Iraq.

Even after things started falling apart in Iraq, the DLC remained unrepentant. Here is a sample from a pre-election Blueprint Magazine article:

The term "yellow journalism" originated with the Yellow Kid (from the comic strip, Hogan’s Alley) that was running in the two rival newspapers, Pulitzer's New York World and Hearst's New York Journal, which quickly became known as the yellow kid papers---hence the expressions "yellow kid journalism," and "yellow journalism," later.

Though it is nowadays mostly used to qualify tabloids sensationalism, the expression remains widely in use.

The color is traditionally associated with cowardice. But when it comes to cowardice, nothing, I think, equals Vanilla Journalism.

- what the Times’ editors did,

- when a publication suppresses or minimizes real news so as not to steer any controversies over events that are rightly deserving of more attention.

Yellow Journalism and Vanilla Journalism are but just two sides of the same coin. Both kinds of journalism are equally dishonest in their design and their intent. But while the first kind is typically more virulent, the miasmatic nature of the second makes it more underhanded, and the most offensive of them all.



A Tear To My Eye

There is so much injustice in the world.

Corporations are people too, you know.

Fortunately there is help out there.

People of faith

and conviction

who are not afraid to speak for the oppressed.



Here's a question I can't get out of my mind

Would Elizabeth Berkley really make that much worse of a presidental candidate than Sarah Palin?


A Matter of Perspective

Gee Whiz, Gem, I never thought of him in that way before.

But now that you mention it...

The resemblance is uncanny.

Especially from that angle.



Quaint Moralism

You heard the man.

Buck-up and shut-up.

Know your place. And mind what you say.

Where do you think you are?



Under the brown fog of a winter dawn

I don't know, sir.

I only knew that you were thirsty.



Murder is only killing without a license.

William Rivers Pitt referred to these present times as the age of the Wrath of Fools.

The gentleman's sure got a point.

Back in the days, whether a prospective target was to be strangled and left in the city dump as an example, punctured through the ear with an ice pick to mimic a natural cerebral hemorrhage, smashed in the face with a baseball bat for effect, shot and robbed at home to appear as "street crime" or gunned down at a public rally, hundreds of professionals with the expertise to carry it off smoothly were available.

But these were gentler times.

Assassination is best left to the professionals.

Or so say they:

Murder is only killing without a license.

So says Sun Tzu. And Machiavelli.

And Bush.

And Obama.

Birds of a feather?

How incongruous and what a strange idea.



You call that a knife?

State law, in Arizona, now permits anyone 21 or older and legally qualified to own a firearm to carry the weapon without a concealed-to-carry permit.

That's all well and good, but what about the rest of us, sword-owners?

Would you believe that some of the very same laws that allow unrestricted concealed carry of certain weapons in Arizona, including (and especially) firearms, do not cover a knife which blade is longer than 3.5 inches?

3.5 inches ?!? You've got to be kidding me!

I would have you know, sir, that the Second Amendment speaks of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" ("arms" - not just "firearms".)

And IMHO the minimum legal age ought to be 18, not 21. I mean if 18 is old enough to go to war, I say, 18 is old enough to carry a sword, right?

Anyone hears anything about a Pro-Carry Sword Group lobbying the government on the issue?


Oh, it hurts

on ABC’s “Top Line” today, former Rep. Jim Kolbe – who represented Giffords’ district in Congress for 22 years before retiring in 2006 – said it’s a mistake to conclude based on this incident that there’s something amiss about Arizona’s culture.

“There isn't anything in Arizona that's uniquely different,” said Kolbe, R-Ariz.

Ok. Leaving out for the moment that
Arizona's gun laws [are] among the most lax in the country

That's not what hurts. "Uniquely different," that's what hurts.


Don we now our gay apparel

As one critic ( Charlie Jane Anders) put it, "seeing a horrendous movie on this level is, for some of us, a quasi-religious experience, in which the cheesy dialogues, crappy philosophizing and dime-store visual effects are like a form of torture that enables us to glimpse the face of God. "

But enough about American politics.

As Quinty will tell you, the 2010 election devolved in its closing days into a battle---familiar in American history and high school alike---over who’s stupid, and who’s a snob.

The Tea Party, has been, if nothing else, a useful and most convenient distraction for the GOP and the Obama administration alike. Much better to siphon the base's energy into circling the wagon and defending the President against such nonsense as questions about his birth certificate, or accusations of being a muslim or a commie or both (not to mention Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Genghis Khan all rolled into one) than to have people look too closely over, as other critics have dubbed it, the fake fight over the fake health care reform.

As Paul Valery famously put it, Politics is the art of "forcing people to make a choice about things of which they have no proper understanding" and preventing them "from sticking their noses in things that are properly their business."

As for the Tea Party movement itself, this particular political situation is very interesting from a psychology-of-the-mob point of view. The Tea Party might as well have pitchforks and torches. Everybody understands Washington is rotten to the core, but everybody wonders why the Tea Party chose this administration to voice their outrage, rather than when the very same, if not worse situation, was prevailing under a president they elected? Why wait to unleash their fury on a president who is only going along with the policies instituted before him?

All in all, strategists expect that all the madness and obfuscation will serve Obama in 2012, especially if the Tea Party movement, as they expect, tugs the GOP toward the right.

David Axelrod is thinking in similar terms. In broad strokes, he argues, Obama will benefit in 2012 because the election will be framed less as a referendum on the nation’s direction and more as a choice against a Republican alternative. “The hardest thing in politics is to be measured against yourself,” he said. But in 2012, "these voters, and all voters, will be faced with a choice. And I view that as an opportunity."

I rest my case.

Which brings us back to Nicholas Cage----did I mention the "Sorcerer's Apprentice," and what a ridiculous movie that was?

But, hey, I don't go to the movies to talk politics---not in this particular instance, anyway. Every so often, I like to catch a flick for the sheer dépaysement, i.e. the unexpected, the unusual, the exotic, the change of scenery, the NEW HORIZONS fiction sometimes can deliver.

The great thing about cultural constructs such as fiction provides is that they do remind us that our so-called daily reality too is built upon cultural constructs---especially when it comes to politics!

Speaking of politics, one may wonder why the aggregated reviews of the pundits on the Tomatometer (i.e. the certified members of various writing guilds or film critic associations) gave a movie like Season of the Witch such a measly score (hovering between 3 and 7%), while the same pundits saw fit to give The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, a whopping 43%, when so clearly both movies are equally bad.

Hmm... the answer is probably in the question.

I, for one, would be at a loss to decide which one of the two was worse. At least, I did manage to stay awake during Season of the Witch. Did I mention Claire Foy ♥ is starring in it? Last time I checked, the general audiences seemed to agree: the review aggregator places Sorcerer's Apprentice at 59% and Season of The Witch at 60% (though, in my opinion, 25% and 26%---a most generous rating---would have been more like it.)

Everything is political or not, I guess.

A point that Charlie Jane judiciously drives home in her review:

"Is killing in God's name always wrong — or is it only wrong when you're not facing zombie monks, shapeshifting wolfy creatures that look like they're ripping off Twilight, and a flaming CG demon? This is an important philosophical question, one which we all have to examine in our own lives, and Season of the Witch makes a stab (so to speak) at addressing it, before finally giving up."

If you ask me, Charlie Jane did it all wrong - I quote: "Maybe it's just the double espresso and the bag full of chocolate-covered speed pills talking, but I walked out of this film feeling like I'd seen a new classic of bad movie-making."

She should have taken Tom Huddleston's advice---the part about getting inebriated.

I did.

Season of the Witch was by no means a good movie.

And it was not such a godawful movie as the pundits have been making it, either.

Still---and even under the influence---whatever charm Season of The Witch might have held over some of its more lenient audiences (Did I mention Claire Foy is starring in it?) the movie does collapse one quarter towards the end---when the party reaches the Abbey. Until then, there was still some hope this could have been a very different movie.

I don't know what I was hoping for.

A cross between "The name of the Rose" and "Ladyhawke," perhaps?



Tis the season to be jolly . . .

Here we go, folks, Season of the Witch (starring Nicholas Cage, Ron Perlman, and Claire Foy) will be now playing tonight "at a theater near you".

Prior to its release, Reuters reported that the anticipated movie had "critics wondering if it will be a hit or miss for an actor [Cage] who divides audiences and exasperates even his most loyal fans."

Most reviews thus far have been devastating: 8% on the Tomatometer, as of January 6.

OK, so you've been warned: clearly, that movie is not for everyone.

Just that. Nothing more.

Nothing to go postal about.

Did I mention Claire Foy is starring in it?

Actually, inasmuch as the quality of the movies in which Nicholas Cage has been featured is concerned, I must say that after The Sorcerer's Apprentice, or that terrible, terrible remake of The Wicker Man before that, my expectations have been running pretty low lately. Way low.

Still, I take comfort in some of the rare positive reviews of Season of The Witch I was able to find, such as this one:

In other words, if Tom Huddleston is to be believed, Season of the Witch sounds like fun---provided one is properly inebriated.

I intend to take his advice and I have taken measures already to prepare myself accordingly.

Bartender? Another one!

I don't have much time, the movie is playing tonight, at 12:01 am, at a theater near The Wulfshead, and so, I'll be catching it---at the Witching Hour, as it should be.

I don't care if I never come back.

Did I mention the movie is starring Claire Foy?

She'd look good, even without that £1,265 Missoni minidress.

Or the £359 Boss Black Buckle sandals.

Or perhaps, she could maybe just keep the sandals on,

Anyway, as I was saying, the movie's going to be idiotic, of course. But here I am, I have already purchased my ticket.

(Keep them coming, Bartender!)

What can I say?

The Devil made me do it.



Humbled and Grateful

What would I be without you?


Bar Talk

Apropos of nothing.

It's all true what they say.




"All the citizens of a state cannot be equally powerful, but they may be equally free."

Hmm… no, I don't think that was it, sir---they'd heard you correctly the first time around...

Think nothing of it; they are not laughing at you---why, a man of the gentleman's standing, whose works and ideas influenced so many important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions…no one would ever dare---they are laughing with you, sir!

There is no harm in it; we all have said silly stupid things about something or another in our lifetime. Besides...a man of your wit, sir...they'll think you were cracking a joke.

Philippe Katerine - Liberté, mon cul. Egalité, mon cul. Fraternité, mon cul.



What's your poison?

Die Liebe ist ein wildes Tier
Sie atmet dich sie sucht nach dir
Nistet auf gebrochenen Herzen
Geht auf Jagd bei Kuss und Kerzen
Saugt sich fest an deinen Lippen
Gräbt sich Dinge durch die Rippen
Lässt sich fallen weich wie Schnee
Erst wird es heiss dann kalt am Ende tut es weh

Amour Amour
Alle wollen nur dich zähmen
Amour Amour am Ende
gefangen zwischen deinen Zähnen

Die Liebe ist ein wildes Tier
Sie beisst und kratzt und tritt nach mir
Hält mich mit tausend Armen fest
Zerrt mich in ihr Liebesnest
Frisst mich auf mit Haut und Haar
und wirbt mich wieder aus nach Tag und Jahr
Lässt sich fallen weich wie Schnee
Erst wird es heiss dann kalt am Ende tut es weh

Amour Amour
Alle wollen nur dich zähmen
Amour Amour am Ende
gefangen zwischen deinen Zähnen

Die Liebe ist ein wildes Tier
In die Falle gehst du ihr
In die Augen starrt sie dir
Verzaubert wenn ihr Blick dich trifft

Bitte bitte gib mir Gift

Tea Party politics

Check out this Washington Post article, which I found on Huffington Post.....

According to these new rules the House could not ratify (if it had that Senate function) the new START treaty since the Founders didn't include any mention of nuclear arms in the Constitution. Nor high speed rail or solar power or the WWW or endangered species or offshore oil drilling not to mention many, many other things.

Though obviously this kind of strict "constructionism" will paralyze the federal government, which is what they want.

But, gee, what do you do about modernday conditions and problems which the Founders never foresaw? And we thought today’s conservatives only wanted to take us back to 1880.

A question - since the founders didn't mention offshore oil drilling when they wrote the Constitution will that make it possible for the government to continue funding giant oil companies with tax breaks and loopholes and many other supports? I suppose if ol' Tom Jefferson were around today he could see the wisdom in all that and would open up ANWR to exploration. It’s just things like gay marriage (which doesn't appear in the Constitution) they would oppose.

1791 huh? Were we living back then would these "conservatives" write the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments?