I’m trying to “keep calm and carry on” as the Anglophile in me thinks is best. My frame of mind at the present is a whirling dervish of unpredictability, with valleys of torrential self-pity…which I hate. What I hate even more is that I seem to be at a total loss regarding how to verbalize any of this. Or write about it either. My focus as of late has once again been reduced to Twitter-level: short, random, and most often pointless.
[Loba Tangent: I speak hypothetically, of course. Loba does not tweet. Although I get the sneaking suspicion that one of my Internet PersonalitiesTM does. I’m just not sure which one…yet.]
Anyway, this is why the lair has been a relative ghost town as of late. Minus my holiday investigation with Santa Sidle, of course.
[Loba Tangent 2: Did you know that, apparently, all I needed to do to give my visitor numbers a nice bump was to mention Sara Sidle? Who knew? I wonder what mentioning Jorja Fox will do to my stats. Gina Toscano? Maggie Doyle? Seriously, I’m a closeted stats whore, so I’ll do whatever it takes to make my numbers soar. Heh. That rhymed.]
However, I wanted to bring you all something during this final countdown to the end of 2010…something more special than gold, frankincense, and myrrh combined. What could be better than that combination, you might ask? How about Wil Wheaton, the Golden Girls, and Dungeons & Dragons? Framed in bacon?
Yeah, it’s okay to be speechless right now. It’s also okay to be mesmerized. Go ahead, take your time and stare. I’ll wait.
It’s breathtaking, isn’t it? Even Wil Wheaton didn’t quite know what to call this masterpiece. His blog post on it was titled what is this i don’t even
I don’t even either, Wil. All I know is that when I start to feel sad, I open this image and the tsunami of awesome that crashes through my mind immediately sweeps the sad away. It’s a temporary palliative, true…but I’ll take temporary like this any day. With an extra side of bacon, please.
Sometimes you stumble across something so bizarre…and yet so strangely entertaining…that you can’t stop looking at it. Perhaps that’s a statement only applicable to the truly obsessive by nature, but I do believe that I undeniably fall under the purview of this particular categorization (you may have noticed that I can sometimes obsess about certain things here at the lair [cough, cough] Star Trek [cough, cough]).
Bet you weren’t in a million years expecting that ending, were you? I mean, what about a Merengue-rapping dachshund, dancing girls in hoodie dresses and go-go boots, exploding avocados, and random Lucha Libre wrestlers, all undulating to the rhythm of a Latin fusion beat says “paper towel commercial” to you? It wasn’t immediately obvious to me either, but this write-up gives away a bit of the thought process behind this commercial, at the end of the article.
Whatever the reasons, I can’t stop watching this silly video. I even caught myself humming the tune as I was walking to my car after work. So I’ve decided to post it here, for all you lovely denizens. I figure, if I can’t stop watching it, at least I can maybe attract some company to obsess along with me…
There’s definitely something rotten in Denmark, denizens. But don’t say that to these TEA baggers. They’ll start lecturing you about how Denmark is one of those evil Socialist countries. And Socialism starts with an S…just like Satan. Who is obviously Obama, because he is trying to turn America into a Socialist country by wanting things like universal health care so that American families don’t go through the horrors like my family has gone through at the hands of Capitalist doctors who, when they no longer saw the profit in treating my mother, sent her home with the instructions to my father that he should “let nature take its course.”
Obviously, this is a touchy subject for me. But I think it should be a touchy subject for anyone possessing even a shred of reason. Think about what happened here in D.C., denizens. On the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, we witnessed what could quite possibly be considered a nail in the coffin of that dream. And I’m speaking about both rallies, which were each divisive in their own ways. Beck and his predominantly White followers versus Al Sharpton and his slightly more diverse but still predominantly Black opposing rally (and neither side seeming to get the sad irony of the situation at all). How could anyone look at these events and for an instant believe that King’s dream could be anything but close to DOA at the feet of Abraham Lincoln’s monument? His vision was for a blending of colors, a coming together of beliefs, opinions, ideas. Judge me on the content of my character, not the color of my skin.
Somewhere along the way, we became incredibly derailed.
Beyond the issues of race, however, is the offensiveness of the wording of Beck’s clarion call to his brainwashed masses. Restore America. Restore Honor. Turn America back toward God.
What does all of this mean? Making certain that you’re allowed to continue to make second-class citizens of fellow Americans for the “crime” of not conforming to the questionably translated beliefs of your unproven god? Or that you be allowed to deny something as basic and deserved as good health to those who cannot afford it…not because they’re not trying but because they can’t find the work they need to give them access to health care. And why is that? Because politicians have unilaterally, and in many instances bipartisanly, sold out the American blue-collar worker by allowing corporations to outsource jobs to the lowest bidder. Whatever it takes to make sure they win the most at playing this Capitalist game, full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes. Damn the blue-collar workers as well.
So stand around like little sheep, spewing your Beck-prepared and Palin-approved jingo dingo lingo while wearing your Communist Chinese-made American flag shirts and hats and fanny packs, waving your Communist Chinese-made American flags, sitting in your Communist Chinese-made American flag folding chairs (but keep damning Cuba for its evil, evil Communist ways!). Wrap yourself in Old Glory and hide your true purpose behind the stacks of dead soldiers you conjure in your liturgy, never once mentioning the erroneous and debatably felonious war (started by your last president to hold office…you know, the same president that drop-kicked us into the middle of this ever-widening sea of debt with his “fiscal conservative” spending sprees and his unending wars) for which they were killed. Stand up and spout the Pledge of Allegiance when the lemming call comes for you to do so.
Never mind that the pledge was written by a self-acclaimed Christian Socialist. See? There’s that evil “S” word again. The pledge’s author, Francis Bellamy, believed that the tenets of Christianity and Socialism were interrelated philosophies. I wonder how long Bellamy could have stood on stage at yesterday’s rally before Dreck’s…sorry, I mean Beck’s bleating hordes booed him off.
I bet they would be more forgiving of Bellamy, however, if they were allowed to do his original salute for the pledge. The original salute wasn’t placing your hand over your heart. It was instead quite similar to what would soon enough become famous as the Nazi salute. Ironic, isn’t it? Okay, probably not. It’s all good, though, just as long as you slap in “under God” thanks to all that jingoistic McCarthy panic of the 1950s. And click your heels together while you say it. Then you’ll be back home in your Communist Chinese-made Republican utopia.
I wish I could give this more thought. Wait. No, I don’t. I still don’t quite understand what has happened to us as a country. But I must admit that I am losing a great deal of respect and hope for us all. And it has nothing to do with restoring honor, whatever on earth that is code for this time. It’s about my continued wish for restoring intelligence, reason, and integrity, traits that have become almost completely extinct on both sides of the fence, both among the politicians and the people.
It’s been a very long time since I felt anything more than apathetic disdain toward the downward spiral of stupidity being propagated in this country. I have to say, though, that this rally has sparked within me a great deal of anger and disgust. And fear. Fear that we are locked into goose-stepping toward utter brainless chaos, led to the slaughter by our emotions since it’s obvious that we sacrificed our intelligence a long, long time ago. Does anyone else feel the same as I do? Could there possibly be as many people as me, as equally upset and afraid at how easily we as a country can be manipulated by those who have motives far more sinister and ulterior than the patriotic pabulum that they spoon-feed their followers? What if we all got together and rallied in Washington? Could we make a difference?
SEDITION: Incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.
During a recent visit to see my father, we had an interesting conversation concerning politics (as we are wont to do; I don’t think I’ve ever had a prolonged conversation with him in which politics didn’t become part of the discussion). He pointed out something concerning recent attitudes within the Republican party, especially these darned TEA baggers, that he believes is cause for concern. It’s one of those “those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it” scenarios that he believes isn’t being taken as seriously as it should be taken, especially by the politicians in power right now.
He reminded me about my own country’s history (which I admittedly don’t pay as much attention to as I should) by pointing out that one of the leading instigators behind the American Civil War was Abraham Lincoln’s election as president. Before Lincoln was even sworn in, 11 Southern states declared they were seceding from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. Outgoing president James Buchanan and Lincoln both declared this secession to be a rebellion.
That moment in our history led to the pitting of American against American, and ended with more than 600,000 dead and more than 400,000 wounded. Hard to believe that fewer than 200 years ago, we were “refreshing the tree of liberty” with the blood of our own.
Ah, there’s a frightening quote being bantered about by Republicans. Back in 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
[Loba Tangent: I wonder how these “Moral Majority” Christian conservatives within the Republican party feel about Jefferson’s stance on religion. He is, after all, the same person who wrote things like, “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear,” and “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Ooh, or how about this one: “If anything pass in a religious meeting seditiously and contrary to the public peace, let it be punished in the same manner and no otherwise than as if it had happened in a fair or market.”]
So we have people like William Kostric, the gentleman pictured to the right. In 2009, he attended a protest outside a town hall meeting on health care reform in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He carried a sign that read “It is time to water the tree of liberty.” In the center of this sign is visible the snake graphic from the Gadsden flag, which stated beneath the snake, “Don’t Tread On Me.” Kostric had a loaded 9mm gun visibly strapped to his leg. President Obama was in attendance at this meeting.
When interviewed by Chris Matthews, Kostric didn’t think it was “a relevant question” to be asked why he brought a loaded gun to a presidential meeting. I’m not going to post a link to this interview, because I honestly found Matthews’ combative interviewing style to be appalling, but I do find Kostric’s response disturbing. As a former student of literary analysis, I was taught to look for meaning in many forms, including symbolism. And I have to say, there is pretty clear meaning in the image of someone strapped with weaponry holding a sign about watering the tree of liberty (especially knowing how that quote ends in bloodshed), standing outside a location where the President of the United States is in attendance.
Regardless of what I think of Obama as President, I find this kind of behavior frightening. I find the feigned innocence, like Kostric’s comment that Matthews was asking irrelevant questions about his gun-toting antics, to be even more frightening.
Especially when similar sentiments surface in the speeches of people running for political positions. People like Sharron Angle. I’ve been keeping tabs on her for a while. She is a TEA Bagger currently trying to unseat Harry Reid as one of Nevada’s U.S. Senators. She’s said some pretty…interesting things throughout her run for Reid’s seat.
Things like she’d like to see the complete elimination of the U.S. Department of Education. Or that the separation of church and state is unconstitutional. Or that unemployment benefits have spoiled Americans from wanting to go and find real work (although she’s also on record as stating that it would not be her responsibility as a U.S. Senator to bring jobs to Nevada, which currently is the state with the highest unemployment rate, at more than 14 percent).
However, it’s her stance on the Second Amendment of the Constitution that worries me the most. During an interview with Lars Larson, Angle is quoted as saying the following:
Our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason, and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. In fact, Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.
Second Amendment remedies? It’s time to water the tree of liberty?
I don’t care how much Angle backpedals regarding her Second Amendment remedies. I don’t care how irrelevant Kostric thinks Matthews’ questions about him toting a loaded weapon outside a presidential town hall meeting might be. Both of these people have put forward imagery and ideas that translate to one thing: armed uprising against the government. Bloodshed.
Am I reading too much into these instances? I don’t think so. I think these things were said or performed in the hopes that people would analyze them and find meaning in the inferences. Do I think there are enough people in this country willing to answer the call for an uprising? I honestly don’t know anymore. I recently read a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center on a group that calls itself the “Sovereign Citizens.” Begun back in the 1970s, now more than 300,000 people claim to be members. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Sovereign Citizens movement is:
…a loosely organized collection of groups and individuals who have adopted a right-wing anarchist ideology originating in the theories of a group called the Posse Comitatus in the 1970s. Its adherents believe that virtually all existing government in the United States is illegitimate and they seek to “restore” an idealized, minimalist government that never actually existed. To this end, sovereign citizens wage war against the government and other forms of authority using “paper terrorism” harassment and intimidation tactics, and occasionally resorting to violence.
“Occasionally resorting to violence.” Such as when father and son Sovereign Citizens killed two police officers during a traffic stop in May of this year.
Perhaps this is the ultimate way to destroy America. Terrorists need do nothing more than sit back and watch us destroy ourselves. Seems like we’re already on the way there. I can only hope that reason is still strong enough to prevail. Admittedly, though, I’m really beginning to wonder…
Here, first, is a brief list of Things That Never Should Have Happened:
Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween.
Well, I did say it was brief.
Typically, I don’t condone real violence of any kind, but I would like to officially request that I be allowed to kick-box Rob Zombie in his outtie bits for the full 2 hours that I wasted on this piece of shit movie.
I warn you now: This post will be graphic in language and anger, and will spoil the hell out of Zombie’s remake. Why? Because I’m angry that I wasted time on what I knew in the very core of my being was going to be shit, and I want to make damn certain that none of my denizens make the same stupid mistake.
Unfortunately, I may ruin bits of John Carpenter’s original movie as well, so be forewarned. Actually, though, if you’re reading this and you haven’t seen Carpenter’s Halloween, stop right now and go watch it. I’m not kidding. I’ll still be here when you’re finished, venting and howling pointlessly.
First let’s begin with…the beginning. The opening of the 1978 version is so classic and so iconic. The clown mask. The fastest sex scene in the history of movies. The killing. The reveal. Oh, the reveal. What a brilliant moment that was, wasn’t it? How the camera that has been, up to this moment, showing us the action from the killer’s POV, changes to now show us that the killer is a tiny little boy with the most chilling, expressionless face in the history of Haddonfield. I can honestly say that I found this to be one of the most disturbing setups for a horror movie villain ever.
How does Zombie fuck it up? The same way most people from my generation fuck things up: by taking it TO THE XTREME!!!11!!!!1 We’ve got to see everything! We have to have reasons! Why and how!! We can’t be satisfied with just seeing a little boy fall into the abyss of pure darkness. We have to see what made him that way!! So what’s Zombie’s take on what made Michael Myers? He’s full-blown, over-the-top, no-holds-barred White Trash, of course.
I hate copouts like this. It’s a benchmark of lazy, unimaginative writing to fall back on something so trite and, quite frankly, stereotypical.
Also, which do you find more disturbing? The idea that Michael Myers was the product of a by-the-Hollywood-numbers dysfunctional upbringing, with his stripper mom (of course she’s a stripper!!) and her abusive, useless boyfriend, his slutty sister and houseful of predictable White Trash insanity? Or that Michael Myers was the son of a bland suburban family living in a bland suburban house in a bland suburban neighborhood, with two happily boring parents and an older sister too busy fooling around with her desperately-in-need-of-stamina boyfriend to notice that her baby brother was getting ready to step into the darkness of pure evil for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
I don’t know about you, denizens, but the latter version is way more disturbing to me.
Plus, in addition to the White Trash angle, Zombie heaps on gluttonous helpings of offensive language and over-the-top unnecessary violence, including showing Michael Myers massacre his entire fucked-up family minus his mom, who’s off stripping, and his baby sister. Yeah, Zombie decided to embrace that portion of the Halloween franchise and make Laurie Strode Michael Myers’s baby sister.
Of course, what Zombie fails to then explain is how exactly Michael Myers knows where his little sis ends up after he’s put away and his mom kills herself over the clusterfuck her family became. He also fails to explain how Myers ends up being built like a brick shit house when all he does is sit in his locked room in his locked ward, making papier-mâché masks for himself. We all have to suspend disbelief now and again, I suppose. After all, Carpenter’s Myers not only knew how to drive a car but also seemed to instinctively know how to return home, even though he’d been locked up in a mental asylum since he was a little boy. However, I feel far more amenable to suspending belief for Carpenter than I will ever feel for Zombie.
I do not understand why anyone allowed this remake to happen. I know that Zombie told Carpenter that he was doing it, and Carpenter’s response was that Zombie should make it his own story. But all Zombie did was bring FAIL to name Halloween. Carpenter’s original 1978 movie is sheer horror brilliance. Yes, it shows its age in many areas. Yes, there is this weird puritanical undertone that only virginal good girls survive horror movies (thank you, Sidney Prescott, for disproving this “rule” with such panache; now please go away and take Gale and Dewey with you).
Put all that aside and what you have is an amazing script brought to life by a director who knew that, to really scare his audience, he needed one thing. Come on, you know what word Loba’s about to write, don’t you? Let’s say it all together now…ATMOSPHERE!!
Carpenter’s vision of this story is so expertly controlled. He never takes it over the top, never makes it seem implausible (okay, the asylum breakout scene was a bit vague). He didn’t need gallons of fake blood or CGI trickery or truckloads of pedantic and patronizing exposition. Truth is, he and co-writer Debra Hill banged out the script in a very short period of time, made minimal rewrites, and filmed the original movie for about a dime more than what a Starbucks Venti latte costs today. Further evidence to support my motto that “Less Is More.”
Carpenter’s Michael was a whisper on the wind, a diaphanous demon who skirted the perimeters, always watching, only seen by us, the helpless audience, who could do nothing but scream impotently at the screen as our protagonists bounced, popped, sang, and screwed their way along (“Totally!”), until Michael deemed it their time to exit, stage left. It’s torturous bliss, done to perfection by Carpenter’s direction. Myers is there in the flutter of a curtain, the creak of a door, the shimmer of candlelight. And then…he’s gone.
There was none of this greatness in Zombie’s take on the story. If Carpenter’s Michael was a whisper, Zombie’s Michael was a freakin’ bulldozer: all rumble and destruction, no grace or tact.
Also, and this is my own personal pet peeve, when we first see him as a young boy, he speaks. Michael Myers doesn’t effing speak!
Then there’s Dr. Loomis. Donald Pleasance should be granted permission from whatever afterworld that might exist to exact unmerciful punishment against Zombie and Malcolm McDowell for this insipid, touchy-feely bastardization of the great Dr. Loomis. Dr. Loomis was fierce and scared and heartless in how he spoke of Michael to others he was trying to warn, and we didn’t need any freakin’ explanation as to why. We didn’t need to know what he saw during those 15 years that he worked with Michael. We were a smart enough audience that we could figure out on our own that it must have been some pretty fucked-up shit.
And Pleasance’s Loomis would have never…I repeat, NEVER in a bajillion years, told Michael at any point that “in a weird way, you’ve become like my best friend.”
You know what? Zombie should have left his original ending in which Michael killed Dr. Loomis, because this version of the character didn’t deserve to live. I don’t care how great Malcolm McDowell may be in other movies, in this he stinks. Of course, you’re only as good as the material you’re given to work with, and that’s not saying much in this instance. You’d think that someone who obviously loves McDowell as much as Zombie does (ever see his video for “Never Gonna Stop”? Red, Red Kroovy, baby…) would have given him something better to work with than a shitty hairpiece and a shittier script.
To call this remake an abomination is a gross understatement. Every time I heard Carpenter’s original Halloween theme play, I understood the true meaning of the word “sacrilege.” It’s also further proof that Hollywood respects nothing beyond the almighty dollar. If they did, they would have never let anyone remake this movie, but they would have especially been vigilant of placing such a classic in the hands of the man who directed House of 1,000 Corpses and who continues to insist on casting his wife even though she has the acting ability of a can of potted meat.
I’m actually angry at myself for renting this movie; I feel as though I’ve somehow validated the remake by doing so. It was my own stupidity though. I’ve resisted watching it for this long, but after listening to a podcast recently that said not completely unkind things about the remake, I decided that maybe I was being too critical (as I am prone to be) and perhaps I needed to learn a little lesson in leniency. Consider this post to be this horror disciple’s penance before the cock crows three times.
Burn, Zombie. Burn and take every last copy of your shitty remake with you. This is the perfect movie to explain why I hate remakes right down to my very core. Also the perfect reason why I’m not even giving the Nightmare remake a second thought. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish rinsing my brain with peroxide.
The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.
In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.
Hmm. I guess we’ve been misinterpreting that “suffer the little children” verse all this time. Of course, that’s from that pesky New Testament. True Republicans like to keep it real and kick it Old Testament.
I wonder: Will Sarah Palin be as forgiving of Marshall’s statement that a child’s handicap could be the result of God’s “special punishment” as she was of Rush Limbaugh’s “satirical” use of the word “retard”?
You don’t know me. I’m just another of the millions of wacky voices out here in teh Interwebz ether, screaming into the winds of egoizing inanity.
Truth is, I don’t really know you either. I mean, I know where you are (I’m not that American that I can’t locate you on a globe or a world map). I know things like you’re part of the United Kingdom, you’re Gaelic (sorry, is that a “don’t ask, don’t tell” topic with you?), and you love thistles, ponies, and men who go commando in their kilts. Oh, and you deep-fry candy bars, which makes you kind of sexy.
What I don’t understand, however, is why one of your residents found me through a keyword search of unimaginable cruelty. An Edinburghian…er, Edinburgher? Someone from Edinburgh found my lair through the keyword phrase “gates mcfadden bad actress.”
You wound me, Scotland, and your wound is deep and painful. Look, you’ve also upset Dr. Crusher.
What kind of country are you, making the Enterprise‘s CMO cry like that?
Bad Scotland. BAD.
[For the record, that phrase never before appeared at the lair in any capacity. Well, except for now, thanks to you, Scotland! I counteract your meanness with this: Gates McFadden Excellent Awesome Super Duper Amazing Spectacular Actress. Ha!]
It’s no big secret that I’m a bit of a cheap wolf. My shelves of used DVDs and books are probably the greatest confirmation of this statement. For others, I pull out all the stops. For me? Meh. I’m okay with sloppy seconds.
Wait. That came out so very wrong. What I mean is that I don’t mind buying something that someone else previously owned. I’m a frequent Amazon Marketplace and eBay lurker. If you know how to play the game (and are looking for arcane enough merchandise), you can get really great bargains. Like the still-sealed set of all 10 seasons of Dangermouse I found for under $5, including shipping.
All that being said, sometimes I get these weird urges. Geek desire poisons my blood with its fever, and I start lusting after things that I know I don’t need.
But I want them. Like the Force FX Mace Windu lightsaber replica that I want, not because I give a rat’s ass about Mace Windu…but because it’s purple. Purple, people. I love purple.
And, yes, I do blame the Admiral for this current object of Loba geek lust. Why did I have to touch his lightsaber?!?
Or how about this? A realistic replica of Freddy Krueger’s razor claw, created by RazorGloves.com?
Is there any valid reason for spending that much money on a prop replica? And by valid, I mean something other than the shiver of horror geek joy I felt when I heard the screech of metal on metal that the blades made against this piece of steel. Of course not! But when I see this or the Mace Windu lightsaber replica, I feel this overwhelming urge to hunker over and scurry about hissing, “We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious!!”
What is this insidious Pavlovian need that seems to dwell within the hearts of so many of my fandom brethren and…er, sistren? Why is it that we are so conditioned as geeks and nerds to lust after these things that “normies” consider silly or pointless? Is it not enough for us to enjoy the shows and movies from which such merchandise was born?
And if it is enough, why then can I not shake the pressing need to somehow acquire one of Dr. Crusher’s blue lab coats? And don’t think for a second that I’m kidding on this one. I would have even settled for that weird-looking first season lab coat she wore. But for more than $1,000?
Sigh. Maybe Gates McFadden has a spare lab coat and one day she’ll find the lair and be so blown away by my undying devotion to her character that she’ll give me said spare.
And right after that happens, Starbuck will find me and ask me to be her wingwolf.
Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sulk and polish my hypospray. And that is not a euphemism.
The number of captions that flooded into my brain when I saw this photo at Pundit Kitchen caused a massive surge and subsequent reboot of my primary sarcasm core. All I could do was laugh until I was literally crying. I’m sure at that point they raised the temperature in my own suite in hell by several degrees.