Friday, July 30, 2004

Andrew Sullivan loves/hates me

MB

it really is bewildering to read andrew sullivan's blog. he's been pretty generous to the democrats during their convention, but saved his typical criticism for kerry's speech (obviously the most important one). andy writes as if he's still undecided who he's going to vote for, even though he's been incredibly harsh toward bush, particularly his position on the gay marriage amendment. i mean, really, c'mon, are you not going to vote for kerry because his speech under whelmed you? does bush still have a chance with you even though he's supporting a constitutional AMENDMENT to discriminate against you? is the war on terror so important that you think once kerry gets elected nukes will go off in all the major cities? i mean, get serious. andy's role simply should be to harp on kerry to manage his message better, instead of this "well, i'm still not sure if i've written bush off..." yes you have. he's supporting an AMENDMENT to the CONSTITUTION. hello, mcfly!!!!

still, we have 4 more months of this garbage. i guess andy likes to do this to keep his readers coming back.

surreal nutjobs

ok, let's forget having washed up celebrities as the stars of the surreal life. let's put a bunch of conservative nutjobs in one house and see what hilarity ensues. i'm thinking for this dream cast to include, "dr." james dobson, gary bauer, ann coulter, sean hannity, paul reiser (trust me, he's a right wing nutjob), major dad, tobey keith and tina yothers (little known fact she was a republican delegate at the 1992 convention. you might have seen her cheering during pat buchanan's infamous hate speech.). to add some spice, we'll throw richard simmons in there and see if he and jimmie dobson bond.

Kruggie in da house

Paul Krugman has a great column today in the NYtimes. too bad what he's saying about the trilivization of the news media is a lost cause. the reality is that americans simply don't care about substantive issues. and it's not even as simple as saying its the "less intellectually gifted" members of the american public that don't give a crap about these issues. college educated americans don't even give a crap. i agree the media has a role in this, but the public is the primary driver of what's being shown in the news. if the news media began emphasizing policy issues rather than what presidential contender's daughter looks better in a bikini (GREAT question actually), most american's would tune out and instead see what riveting storyline was being pursued on the shopping network.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

It's not surreal to me

MB

the third edition of the incredibly brilliant tv series, the surreal life, will come to us in early september.  i'm not sure why it took those hollywood types so long to come up with such a great premise, but now that they have, it's important we contribute to the evolution of the show.  the first edition of the show was incredible, mainly because of the presence of corey feldman.  the man is a giant among washed up celebrities.  and the incredible part is that he lived up to all expectations by humiliating himself on tv over and over again.   we know the surreal life is popular among our readers so we'll be doing a periodic countdown to the series and providing ongoing commentary.  to begin with, let's look at this edition's washed up celebrities.  then we'll compile our own list of who we think should be on the show.

The Surreal Life 3 (premieres Sept. 5)

Charo  (Barf. Is this to attract the geriatric demographic?)
actor/comedian Dave Coulier (Who?)
hip-hop pioneer Flava Flav  (I like this choice.  I had my own clock necklace and I think it's a style on the way back.)
one-time New Kids On The Block member Jordan Knight  (Not a bad choice, but I would've preferred Donny Wahlberg.  Donny was better at self-humiliation.)
 former female action star Brigitte Nielsen  (Brilliant.  I hope one of the other stars asks her if she felt snubbed when the Academy ignored her role in Cobra.).
 first season American Idol finalist Ryan Starr. (This is a really lame choice. I can't believe they couldn't find a more appealing former child star at some LA temp agency.)

More to come on our dream cast.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

George Lucas hates me

Well, the final Star War movie has a title:  Revenge of the Sith.  Not a bad name, but unfortunately, too little too late.  The first two prequels have completely annihilated any goodwill I had for those movies.  My suggestion to Lucas is to scrap releasing this final one and just hold off ever releasing it so the fans can dream about what might have been.  This movie WILL suck.  The first two SUCKED.  Why put the fans through the final insult?  Just elude to what the movie was going to have so at least we can go out with a few, fleeting positive thoughts on this series.  These movies left me feeling so violated.  It's as if Lucas traveled back in time and accosted me as a child and now I'm left with these feelings of shame and loathing.  Thanks George!

needs a silver bullet desperately

pete coors campaign for the GOP senate nomination in colorado is in a tailspin.  as a former resident of colorado, i'm not one to doubt the propensity of the state's 'wild west frontiersmen' voting bloc to elect a guy who's made his fortune fueling alcoholism worldwide. that being said, its intruiging to note the limits of politics as brand marketing. coors enters the race with obviously phenomenal name recognition and a familiar face from his many tv commercials pimping beer. yet his dazzling, and i do mean dazzling, incompetence on the issues (is it possible that he somehow missed the memo on the canned response to deficit/taxcut conflict that the GOP spoonfeeds its clones ?) appears to have undermined his political brand value. i'm as shocked as the next guy that voters may actually have an expectations floor for knowledge and experience for a political candidate (insert line from 'totall recall' here). celebrity politicians take note - your name wont be enough unless you can parrot vacuous party dogma when required.

- LH

and hilary

classic new democrat-orientation to her speech. laundry list of policy initiatives, mostly small stuff thats symbolic, but very little soaring oratory or vision. rather than deal with big pictures or a philosophy of governance, hilary threw bones to constituencies and made school-uniform style hay where and when she could. low risk, low reward. a thoroughly unmemorable speech. seems like a missed opportunity if she had any thoughts for 2008.

- LH

where'd that come from ?

two striking notes from where i sat on clinton's fine oratory:
1. being out of the political rat race sure is freeing. can you imagine clinton going anywhere near a couple of the themes he relished last night were HE the candidate ? not only did he call to attention the vietnam issue (associating himself with B/C was a masterstroke - viewed as humble by his supporters and perhaps a moment of genuine self-criticism by his detractors) but he rode 'my tax cut' into the ground, and effectively so.
2. when did WJC become obsessed with the environment ? it must have happened sometime after 2000, because he mentioned environmental issues 7 times last night by my count. clean energy seemed to get the most air time, but i was simply startled to hear such an emphasis. whoever left an LCV briefing book in the fleet center men's room stall - nice work.

to be the man . . .

you've got to beat the man, and woooo, aint nobody coming close to the man right now. WJC's convention opener was really quite dazzling. as mrs. humungus put it 'you just cant stop his flow'.  watching political speech marathons like the conventions it really becomes apparent just how disastrously inept the art of public speaking has become. watching hilary ramble through awkward phrasemaking and arrythmic delivery was difficult, but not painful. in stark contrast, the great public speakers say powerful and artful things while speaking in human tones - its a subtle dance between the glorified word and the grounded affect. clinton is the master. i dont think his speech means a lick in the big picture of kerry vs. bush, in shaping the future of the Democratic Party, or to the fate of the nation; but for one brief moment you can suspend the clouds of history and the frustration of opportunities lost and savor the inspiration of a person doing what he does best.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Olympic boredom

Well, the Olympics crash down upon us in just a few weeks.  I don't know about you, but the Olympics bore the heck out of me.  I really haven't enjoyed the Olympics since 1984, when the US crushed the rest of the world (sans all the Eastern bloc countries) and We are the World was dominating the pop charts.  Wow, what a glorious time.  I guess the main reason I'm so disgusted with sports now are the drugs.  The recent cycling and track and field scandals pretty much confirmed my worst fears.  If you're at the top of your game, you must be on drugs.  I guess a sport like archery might be drug free, although I wouldn't be surprised if someone there got caught up in a drug scandal using some performance enhancing finger ointment.  Wow, what happened to those innocent days of Bruce Jenner, where a bad haircut and a goofy wardrobe meant so much? MB

100 Big ones

Well, Farenheight 911 is inching toward $100 million at the box office.  What now?

Yes, we will be at the Democratic Convention!

We've been asked . . . Actually, we weren't asked, but it was implied by our readers, if we would be present at the Democratic convention.  Well, proudly, I can say YES we will be there!  No, we won't have press credentials, but our crack correspondent, Lord Humungous, will be there taking notes and acting like a real journalist.  We're proud of him! Wish him the best!

 

Clarke isn't giving up

Richard Clarke has a great column in the NY Times today. This guy isn't giving up. I finished his book last week and it's a sobering analysis of what had been done and what is being done to deal with Al Qaeda. As everyone is aware, Clarke thought Bush was dropping the ball on this one. The unfortunate thing about Clarke and his message is that it's just something to complicated to get the media to channel properly to the public. Clarke throws out this flaming turd and what happens? Nothing. No one is fired. Bush's strategy doesn't change, except to circle the wagons even tighter. Meanwhile, we're becoming less safe. What exactly was accomplished with Richard Clarke coming forth with this information? It's all about information delivery, and our current system failed spectacularly to deliver Clarke's message in such a way there would be consequences.  Well, hold that, I'm sure there will be consequences, but the kind that are out of our hands.  MB

Saturday, July 24, 2004

kristof sure straightened me out

thank goodness nick kristof is around to apply his levelheaded, moderating perspective on the environmental movement. as much as i appreciate the guy's excellent and incredibly valuable writings on foreign affairs (his leadership on sudan has been remarkable and deeply respectable) every few months he pulls on his land's end duck boots and wades into environmental issues with some of the more misguided, naive notions that make it into mainstream print. today's contribution to the debate suggests that the environmental movement is too focused on 'sealing off the wilderness.'  in a statement of dazzling naivete, he adds "I also wish that the green movement fought as hard for interactions between humans and our environment as it did against blind development. If environmentalists applied a small fraction of the energy they devoted to fighting snowmobiles in Yellowstone to push for the coast-to-coast trail, we would now have one."I'm not sure what's more spectacular - the notion that he is so undereducated in environmental issues that he believes the dichotomy he's created actually exists, or that the NYT is supportive enough of his sophmoric meanderings on the topic that they dont reject his columns on the topic outright. if mr. kristof took the time to chat with mainstream environmentalists, particularly those committed to conservation of western wildlands, he would learn that there are few individuals MORE committed to creating trail access and allowing low-impact human participation in the backcountry.  kristof's assumption that fighting snowmobiles in Yellowstone is somehow equivalent to misanthropic fencing of the wilderness is downright embarrassing - environmentalists desperately would like more people (read: voters) to get out into the wilderness, as long as their presence can be managed and enabled in ways that do not severely impact those wild places and habitats in damaging ways (read: air pollution, noise impacts, and altering wildlife migration patterns). i welcome kristof's interest in the environment, but his continuing assumptions that these issues are a actually quite simple and just require an objective, common sense approach by a levelheaded intellectual do a disservice to the debate and are an insult to the thousands of people working long hours for crap wages to preserve some chunk of high prairie from becoming a cul-de-sac littered housing development.

- lord humungus

leader of the great northern tribe

this weeks new yorker has a fantastic read on summer camps for brainiac kids. interesting the educational philosophy may be, nothings more entertaining than the behaviors of the prodigies themselves, brains bursting out of their skulls and whatnot. if only the feral kid had enjoyed such a fertile learning environment. . .

LH


Is it just me?

Is it just me, or has the response to the 911Commission report been criminally neglectful?  Congress has decided to return from their break to hold hearings on the report.  This is silly.  First, Congress almost refused to fund the Commission and then they only reluctantly extended the length of the Commission's work.  Meanwhile, House Speaker Hastert has said the Congress probably won't get around to passing any significant legislation in response to the Commission's recommendations.  So, in a nutshell, they don't have time to pass meaningful terrorism-related legislation, but they have time for this gay bashing?  If Osama knows how our government really works, he must be laughing.  I know Wez isn't.

Masterblaster

Be still my dogs of war.

Folks, this is the first Liberal Thunderdome blog.  This is a momentous occasion.  From these pages will come the most important, insightful, inflammatory, and downright zany commentary you will hear about today's most relevant events.  Be ready, be prepared . . . and remember, fear is our ally.