Dec 14, 2009

Fox News Math

Sometimes it's best to allow an image to speak for itself and the so called "news" division it represents.

Oct 28, 2009

Happy Halloween

Richard Avedon photograph of Nadja Auerman

Sep 8, 2009

Mad Men

Annie Leibowitz photograph of Don and Betty Draper (John Hamm and January Jones) for Vanity Fair

Ah, Season 3 of Mad Men - so very much anticipated but in reality a bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong, this is still the most stylish and one of the most intelligently scripted series on television, but I wondered how the series could live up to the excellent cliffhangers that Season 2 presented. It couldn't, it didn't, and it hasn't.

While Season 3 is as good as Season 1, the suspense and sheer storytelling genius of Season 2 is missing. Here is how Season 2 ended: When it seemed that the Draper marriage was over, Betty announced she was pregnant. Roger Sterling left his wife of twenty-something years for Don Draper's twenty-something secretary. Peggy Olson received a promotion and her own office, but still had a tough time gaining acceptance; Joan Holloway embarked on the marriage from hell (she found her doctor, the epitome of husband material, but he raped her); and Trudy Campbell can't conceive the baby she so desperately wants, which is ok with Pete, whose ambitions don't include having children, and a revelation between Pete and Peggy that was stunning.

Season 3 starts off with Don and Betty together, Roger Sterling in the dog house with his soon-to-be-married daughter, Sterling Cooper closely supervised by Lane Pryce, their British parent, and Peggy experimenting with bar hopping, sex and marijuana while trying to be one of the boys. Her relationship with Pete this year seems to be nonexistent, so that her cliff-hanging revelation at the end of Season 2 has fizzled out.

Don Draper and Pete Campbell (John Hamm and Vincent Kartheiser.

The problem with Season 3 is that much of the material seems rehashed and not so fresh and new. There is very little movement forward in each episode, and the suspense from Season 2 is missing. Having said that, I make sure to watch Mad Men when it comes on, which, surprisingly, makes me a minority in the office, for I am convinced that my co-workers would love this series if they gave it a chance. The sets are luscious and so retro. The references to the sexual and social mores of the 60's bring me back in time, and the obsession with drinking and smoking reminds me of the parties my parents once gave, when the air would be filled with smoke. Those were the days of the three-martini lunch, and people would drink hard liquor like water.
The Drapers draped over settees

Thankfully, AMC has already given the green light for Season 4. Who knows, maybe Season 3 will soon start to pick up where Season 2 left off, and leave me dangling on the edge of my seat again. I have hope yet.

Aug 30, 2009

RIP Ted Kennedy

The skies opened up when Ted Kennedy was laid to rest next to his brothers, sending down beams of light. Sen. Kennedy was a complex man - a loving father and talented senator whose attitude towards women was puzzling, for I believe that no womanizer can truly respect his wife or women in general. Perhaps his second wife taught him a life lesson, for he obviously adored her. Ted Kennedy was genuinely always championing the poor, elderly, and oppressed, and he wore the mantle of the last surviving Kennedy brother well. The groups he supported have experienced a devastating loss, as has Obama, whose presidency could have used an ally with Ted's skills in the senate.

This country is the poorer for his loss, and I shall miss him.

Aug 19, 2009

Nut Jobs Get Health Care Wrong Again

Once more, Helen and Margaret are two voices of reason in an increasingly whacky America. The fear of health care reform has spiraled out of all proportion. The British, whose benevolent health care system was under attack, mounted Twitter counter attacks to some of our more insane, less humane attitudes towards our failed health care system. Instead of well-reasoned conversations, people shout slogans at Town Hall debates, comparing Obama to Hitler, and holding up incredibly stupid signs. Here then, are H&M's words:
And what’s all this crap about killing your grandmother? Are you people honestly that stupid? This has become less an argument about healthcare reform and more a statement about our failed education system. Margaret, I don’t know what plans you’ve made up there with Howard, but down here with Harold, we have living wills to determine how we will leave this world when the time comes. Mine states that unless the feeding tube is large enough for a piece of pie, I don’t want to be hooked up to it. Harold, of course, says his can only be connected to him if the other end is connected to a bottle of single malt scotch.

Let's hope these two protesters meant to be ironic. Frankly, I think they demonstrate the level of I.Q. that these anti-health care reform people probably have.

I'd been getting tired of rehashed Liberal democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank, who are so predictable in their uber liberal stances. But all I can say to this exchange about health care is: I love you, Barney.

Aug 12, 2009

Now and Then Sex Sells

Want to know how far along we've come, baby? These two sites show old sexist ads. Well, perhaps things haven't changed so much after all, as Calvin Klein keeps proving over and over.

Aug 1, 2009

Cute Moments

To prevent this blog from tilting too far to the angry, political side, here's some nice news:

News Update: The Crazies are Still Ruling the World

So, Michael Vick is to be forgiven. Some say that he "has paid his dues" to society. Not! There are dogs that he helped to butcher and murder who paid the ultimate price and who have no one to speak for them except us. Dogs whose lives he made miserable, but who survived, are still dealing with his cruelty. Big bucks win out again. Had Vick not been talented, society would have turned its back on him long ago. Here's a discussion about Vick on Dog Debates.

On a lighter note, Republicans still can't accept that the Democrats won and that Obama is our president. Their constant refrains of: - Is his birth certificate legal? - to racial slurs about his origin, or, worse, racial jokes and cartoons - to, He should be doing this and that instead of that and this - are getting to be tiresome. GET OVER IT! Your party LOST! Here's another Republican example of sore loser: Jan Larimer, Republican Committee National Chair Bashes Obama's Happy Hour. The comments are priceless.

Jul 25, 2009

John Stewart and the Born Identity

The birthers' concerns are finally laid to rest by John Stewart. Let's move on, kooks and sore losers. Find another topic to harp on.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Born Identity
Daily Show
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Political HumorJoke of the Day

Jul 24, 2009

LOL Celebrities

Bye bye Sarah. We wish we'd never heard of you.

Sarah Palin A Llama
see more Celeb Look-A-Likes

Jul 22, 2009

Whacky News: The Rise of the Birthers

The "Birthers" have been making loud demands to see Obama's birth certificate, by which they mean an even better and more convincing birth certificate than the official one available all over the internet, and they absolutely will not be satisfied until Robert Gates and the Defense Department are given ALL THE MONEY to build a laser-powered F-22 time machine so that they can all be present at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu at the precise moment on August 4, 1961 when Stanley Ann Dunham crowned, so that they can watch.

Posey introduced that bill [which "would require future presidential candidates to provide a copy of their original birth certificate], and the world pointed at him and laughed and laughed, none harder than teevee comedian Stephen Colbert, who lampooned him thusly on his eponymous Report on March 19th.-
Jason Linkins

The lunatic fringe is getting shriller and shriller, and going apoplectic at the idea that President Obama is not a citizen of the United States. This is despite the fact that the President's birth certificate has been authenticated by several independent sources and that the seal is clearly visible on the back side of the certificate (Which would make it not visible on the Internet copies). Watch the hilarious video in this post, Florida Congressman Continues To Stonewall On His Half-Alligator Genetic Heritage (VIDEO).

Jul 21, 2009

Vanity Fair Edits Sarah Palin's Resignation Speech

Oh, my, how droll. Editors at Vanity Fair thought they could help the embattled soon-to-be-ex governor out. Click on images to read a larger version.

In a related bit of information, it takes Sarah 7-8 minutes to twitter her thoughts. 140 characters simply aren't long enough.

Jul 14, 2009

Who Will Champion Vick's Dogs?

I suppose I am finding a new focus for this blog, more proactive on behalf of animals and our environment, more political, and less silly. I read the comments on this Michael Vick article, some of which turned my stomach. I wonder about the callous attitude of a person who can write that Michael Vick killed a dog, "So what?"

He did not kill a dog; he and his entourage killed scores of dogs. In addition, Vick and his cohort trained loyal pitbulls to become active killers for the disgusting sport of dog fighting. These traumatized dogs would do anything for their handlers - even put themselves in mortal danger and extreme pain - to please them. It is not in their nature to fight each other - it IS in their nature to live in a pack and to obey pack rules. A losing dog in its natural environment will roll over and give up, and the victor will stop fighting without going in for the kill. These dogs were trained to keep going.

If these dogs did not live up to their killer potential, Vick's group killed them. If they won, they lived to fight (and suffer) another day. That's the thanks they got. The commentor's casual attitude towardsthe killing and abuse of these suffering pitbulls is appalling. He wasn't the only one. Many people commenting about Vick's return to football failed to empathize with the canines and had a so-what attitude. Like Vick, they only had their eyes on the prize, in this case, watching Vick play pro football again.

I have yet to meet a pitbull I haven't liked. Beautiful, magnificent animals, their reputation has suffered as a group because of their loyalty and desire to please and do anything for their callous owners. Shame on us for taking advantage of their decent natures. Am I a pitbull owner? No. My dog is a small terrier. But I would choose a pitbull for a companion over a Michael Vick or his cohort any day. Thankfully, some of the Vick pitbulls were saved through the efforts of trainers in Dogtown. A few actually found loving homes and are living the happy life they deserve.

Frankly, if Vick never played football again it would be too soon. Who the hell cares if he's talented.

Jul 11, 2009

Zoo Stories: Animals and Emotions and Confinement

Forty and more years ago, I visited the animal torture prison that was then the Baltimore Zoo. I recall seeing a lone gorilla in a dark, windowless, cement floored cage, constantly regurgitating his food and eating it up. School children would make fun of him and pull faces at him, but he seemingly paid us no heed, fixated as he was on his body's effluence. Poor, unfortunate beast. I don't know if this was the same gorilla as Hercules, who was given to the Dallas zoo in 1993. When I viewed the video below, I was forcibly reminded that we humans know so little about these magnificent animals. Can you imagine how insanely mad that lone gorilla must have become, with no companions to relieve the tedium, no visual stimuli, and visited daily by creatures that, counter to polite gorilla etiquette, bared their teeth and stared directly at him?

In 1826, Chunee the Elephant went mad from his confinement in a small zoo in London. Lord Byron had described him as a well behaved elephant, but he became enraged and dangerous. The thing was: Chunee did not die easily or well. 152 musket balls did not do the job, and his keeper had to finish him off with a sword. It was said that the sounds of his agonizing death haunted those who heard his screams. More recently three men taunted a tiger at the San Francisco zoo. The tiger, escaping his confinement, killed one of the men and mauled the other two. Zoo officials killed the tiger, who had been minding its own business. Where was the justice in that?

While today's zoos have become more humane and are the last refuge for many endangered species, road side zoos still despicably confine their exotic charges in cramped cages. These small private zoos are not the only culprits. Expensive aquariums like Sea World are hideously confining as well. One cannot convince me that the tanks in which dolphins and whales are forced to swim around in endless circles are big enough for these enormous, free ranging creatures. I don't care how much attention and care they receive, and how much money is spent on those tanks - when I see a magnificent killer whale swim around in tight circles my heart goes out to it. And don't get me started on the National Aquarium in Baltimore, where no natural light is permitted inside the very dark interior of the main building. When this aquarium first opened, a group of puffins began to noticeably suffer almost immediately. I recall being surprised that in 1981, a supposedly enlightened era of zoo design, an exhibit was created that harmed the physical and mental well-being of the creatures that were forced to live inside it.

There are no easy solutions. Seeing those gorillas and chimps smile and giggle in the above YouTube clip made me infinitely sad. There is no future in the wild for these beautiful creatures, and the only way many of us will ever get to see them is behind the bars of a cage. Lions are being poisoned to such an extent in Kenya, that it is estimated they will be eradicated in 50 years. Pretty soon the only place we will see these magnificent beasts is in a zoo. What a terrible and terrifying future we have wrought for them. This article by Christopher Corbett represents my feelings on the topic, only Christopher is angrier.

Jul 10, 2009

Margaret and Helen: Two not so sweet lil' ol ladies

I pray to God that my mind will stay as sharp as Helen's when I get to be in my 80's. No person could have analyzed Sarah Palin's quitting as governor better than her.

These gems came out of the mouth of a grand retired babe:

"My God that woman is an idiot. I have said this before, but I feel the need to say it again. Her problems did not come because the media was against her. Her problems come because every time you stick a microphone in front of her mouth a whole lot of stupid falls out."

"The time to step down would have been back when the older daughter was knocked up and needed a little privacy. The time to have stepped down would have been when the special needs child was a newborn and needed some peace and quiet at home with the family."

"Freedom from government is her battle cry until a vagina gets involved and then watch how much involvement she wants. Show me a woman who is making a private medical decision to end a pregnancy and I’ll show you a Palin screaming for more government involvement."

Jul 3, 2009

The Sanford Saga Continues or Clueless in South Carolina

Finally an absurdity so divine that it prompted me to come out of Dishin' Dat retirement. Thank you Jon Stewart for putting the Sanford Saga into perspective:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Shut Up, Mark Sanford
Daily Show
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Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

I would also like to add Maureen Dowds two cents, which is spot on advice for the wives of these middle aged lotharios. Her advice to Jenny Sanford? Change the locks.