Sunday, July 25, 2010

On the Good, the Bad, and the Not-Even-Friday Random Ten

Okay, so I so I totally want an empire-waist morning dress and a leopard fur coat. That's my new look. Gotta be.

What's good (for the week ending 7/23, even though right now it's 7/25, but whatever ):

- Jane Austen's Fight Club

- 15 years of Clueless. I recall hearing somewhere that the "Haiti-ans" bit was real, that Alicia Silverstone genuinely didn't know how to pronounce "Haitians" and that no one was about to correct her because it was so funny. I can only imagine her five years down the road: "I was just so concerned about the Haiti-ans--What? It's--Hold on, it's Haitians? Ohhhh, shit..."


- prawn pr0n

- the return of the Russian spy. Okay, yes, espionage is bad, yes. Yes, it's dangerous, and whatever. But admit it: James Bond films were way cooler when we had the Soviets to worry about. Admit that.

What's bad:

- the way we treat animals. Isn't there some saying about being able to measure a society on how it treats its least powerful members, or something? Man, the things we have to learn from eight-year-olds.

- Girls Gone Publicly Assaulted. So a woman is forcibly exposed in a bar and taped for Girls Gone Wild--and is saying no on the tape itself--doesn't deserve damages when her boobs made it to video without her consent. Why? Because if she was willing to go to a bar and dance in front of the photographer, she was probably cool with Joe Francis selling her boobs. Y'know, she's one of those girls.

The Ten:

1. Oasis, "Some Might Say"
2. Vertical Horizon, "Great Divide"
3. Les Nubians, "Les Portes Du Souvenir"
4. The Capital Steps, "Old Man Rumsfeld"
5. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, "Valse (I)" from Swan Lake
6. Zero 7, "Destiny"
7. Jimmy Buffett, "Margaritaville"
8. Dave Matthews Band, "Pay for What You Get"
9. Black Eyed Peas, "Let's Get It Started (Spike Mix)"
10. Evanescence, "Exodus"

And while we're on the subject of music: I was out for karaoke with a bunch of friends on Thursday night, and I appeared to be the only one who showed up without a set list. Is this something one is expected to have? Are there rules for what makes a good karaoke song? Your suggestions and your Ten go in comments.

Monday, July 19, 2010

On Mashup Monday: Weezer will rock you

Okay, so it works, and it has cameos by Hef and Joan Jett.* Nothing not to like.

Weezer/Queen - We Will Rock and Roll Beverly Hills

*as would the best 30th birthday party ever.

On the Good, the Bad, and the Slightly-After-Friday Random Ten

Okay, so as we sat in the parking lot of Burger King, sipping our drinks and waiting for someone to bring our meals out, The Boy peeled the Twilight game piece off the side of his cup and looked at the little scratch-off piece.

"'Choose your team'?" he read. "Duh. I always pick Team Jacob."

He got really pissed off when I immediately pulled my phone out and tweeted it.

What's good (for the week ending 7/16):

- Verizon Wireless, and Leonard at the store on 280. We went in on Thursday to see about a) switching service from T-mobile, which has been touching goats in the bathing-suit area for a year now, and b) getting a Droid X each. Well, of course they managed to sell every X they had within the first hour, but we got an LG Ally for me and a regular Droid for The Boy with an option to trade them in for an X as soon as more come in. They're good, they're nice, and their 3G coverage map is jaw-dropping. Much love to Verizon.
- my new Ally. Sorry, I'm magpie-like in my attraction to shiny things.
- positive feedback on something you worked really hard on and felt really good about
- the Minion Berry pancakes at IHOP--tastes like lemon pound cake with triple-berry compote and whipped cream, except if the pound cake was actually pancake and the compote was... still compote. And since it's a kids' meal, you don't leave with that oh-Jesus-God-I-just-ate-at-IHOP feeling. Although you definitely leave with that oh-Jesus-God-I-just-had-dessert-for-breakfast-and-also-turkey-sausage feeling.
- this stuff right here:

What's bad:

- not napping. Long story (although not anything shameful or private--just long), but the punchline is that until my doctor can hook me up with a sleep specialist, he says I'm to "keep a regular sleep schedule." Apparently, my tendency to take a regular nap at lunchtime and another regular nap after dinner and then regularly sleep through the night isn't "regular" enough for him, so instead it's a week's worth of caffeine packed into every day to keep me up until bedtime, and then half the time I overshoot and end up wide awake at, for instance, midnight, completely unable to go to sleep despite wanting to. Thanks a heap, doc.
- this stuff. Obviously, I've already posted on this, but when I see responses like this, it just makes me wonder if people really pay attention. (Not to me, obviously, but to the world around them.) Yes, by all means, we should "listen to [Mel's] side of the story." It's actually quite easy to listen to, as it's right there on the tape. Let's please, please try to teach our friends and nieces and daughters: Yes, people make mistakes all the time, but no, beating the shit out of someone isn't a mistake. It's a felony. But it's easy to get the two confused, I'm sure.

The Ten:
1. Michael Bublé, "The Way You Look Tonight"
2. Josie and the Pussycats, "Pretend to Be Nice"
3. Bic Runga, "Sway"
4. Sonic Youth, "Superstar"
5. Etta James, "I'll Be Seeing You"
6. Marilyn Horne, "Pineapple Rag"
7. Goodie Mob, "Soul Food"
8. Buena Vista Social Club presents Omara Portuondo, "No Me Vayas A Engañar"
9. Johnny Cash (with June Carter Cash), "It Ain't Me, Babe"
10. INXS, "Not Enough Time"

Your Ten, and your home remedies for insomnia and/or narcolepsy and/or apnea, go in comments.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On his side, her side, and the ugly truth

TRIGGER WARNING for domestic violence throughout, but definitely for the tapes on Radar Online.

Okay, so Mel Gibson has been in decline for some time now. Always a devout Catholic, he descended to a rather freaky level of fundamentalism as part of Opus Dei, he started making kind of scary-weird movies like The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, and then there was his sexist, anti-Semitic tirade after being pulled over for drunk driving, followed by his trip to rehab, which of course makes everything all better. Punchline: Once a hero, Mel Gibson is undeniably in bad, bad shape, and whether or not he’s a bad person, it’s undeniable that he’s a person who does bad things.

His most recent bad thing has come out in the form of several tapes revealed by Radar Online. One was simply terribly cruel, berating ex-girlfriend (and mother of his chlid) Oksana Grigorieva and using racial epithets. But the most recent tape has been more horrifying: Unhinged and out of control, he admits to beating her (saying she deserved it) and not-so-obliquely threatens several times to kill her.

What’s nearly as scary (and just as scary, in its own way) is the way some fans are coming to his defense, demanding photos of her broken teeth, wanting to know what she said to him before she started taping, wondering why she was taping him at all. There are two sides to every story, they say, and she’s certainly no angel, and there must be something just as sinister in her past to balance out this unbelievably horrific story. It has to be about her. It has to be her fault.

This recalls the not-so-publicized case of Juanita Bynum, who was mercilessly beaten by her minister husband in a parking garage; and the more-publicized case of singer Rihanna, who was mercilessly beaten by her boyfriend, convicted domestic abuser Chris Brown, in a car. In both cases, there was evidence--Bynam’s beating was witnessed by a garage attendant, and Rihanna’s gruesome ER photos were leaked to the tabloid press. But even in the face of that kind of undeniable evidence, some people simply couldn’t accept it--there had to be some kind of mitigating factor, something to keep this from being just another flat-out case of vicious domestic abuse. Something, more importantly, to keep Thomas Weeks and convicted domestic abuser Chris Brown from being just another flat-out vicious domestic abuser.

I don’t remember the outcry when Russell Crowe assaulted that concierge in New York, wondering what the man did to provoke a phone slammed in his face. And I don’t recall anyone asking for Naomi Campbell’s side of the story whenever she assaulted her assistants. But there’s something about this particular crime that makes people suddenly stop and search for a fair hearing, an unbiased examination of the evidence.

Why? Is it because Mel Gibson (like convicted domestic abuser Chris Brown and others) is a hero, a manly movie man who protects movie women, our Braveheart and our devoted father, who would never do such a thing? Is it because beating a woman is considered to be so far beyond the pale that such an accusation requires more evidence? Is it because we’re so quick to believe that a woman would lie and manipulate? Is it because, like with so much victim-blaming in rape cases, we prefer to pretend that there’s something she did wrong, a mistake we can avoid in order to avoid her fate?

Regardless of the numerous sides to Mel GIbson’s ongoing story, there is one side that can’t be ignored: Mel Gibson beat Oksana Grigorieva viciously, breaking two of her teeth. Deniers who still demand ER photos from that event can accept the fact that he admits it on tape--she deserved it. Deniers who wonder why she was taping him, who she wanted to leak the tapes to, can accept the fact that on the tape, he admits to beating her, and he threatens to kill her. That is the side that isn’t subject to he said-she said. That is the side that would be (will be, hopefully) admissable in court. And no matter what happens, no matter what else comes out, that is the side that is completely inexcusable.

There is no “other side of the story” that justifies violence. There is nothing a woman can do to provoke that kind of a beating. There is nothing a woman can say to a man to warrant him punching her. Whatever happened in Mel Gibson’s house or Chris Brown’s car, the side of the story that matters is the one where he responds with violence. And so as much as we’d like to believe our heroes incapable of such things, when we’re faced with this kind of incontrovertible evidence, we have to stop searching for excuses and mitigating circumstances and accept that, no, boys will not be boys, we don’t all make that kind of mistake, and there is nothing she could have done to deserve it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

On Mashup Monday: A little bit of culture

Okay, so I ain't sayin' she's no golddigger... but she ain't messin' with no broke, deaf turn-of-the-nineteenth-century classical composer.

Kanye West/Ludwig van Beethoven - Beethoven's Golddigger

I can't wait to see what Jay-Z does with his Moonlight Sonata.

Friday, July 09, 2010

On the Good, the Bad, and the Friday Random Ten

Okay, so I love me some fireworks. I grew up close to Fort Benning, and so the Fourth of July would frequently involve a trip to post to watch badass fireworks and hear the Army band play the 1812 Overture with actual cannons. (I'm now spoiled for cannons.) And so it's been cool for the past four years to live right at the base of Red Mountain, an ideal viewing spot for the fireworks that are shot off of Vulcan's pedestal each year.

Not as cool? Musical accompaniment courtesy of 106.9 The Eagle. Just a hint, guys: You might want to try listening to the lyrics of the songs you play before you play them. "Fortunate Son" isn't really about being fortunate, and the song "America" from West Side Story isn't about how awesome it is for immigrants in the U.S. Points, though, for leaving out anything by Lee Greenwood or Toby Keith. More points for working in some James Brown.

Meh. We shouldn't have been listening to the radio anyway. Fireworks are best accompanied by nothing other than the sound of fireworks. Next year, we'll do it right.

What's good (for the week ending 7/9):

- Alo fruit-tea-whatever drink. Awesome simply because it has little chunks of actual aloe pulp, which makes it the tea that drinks like a meal. Sound gross? Of course it does; fruit-tea-whatever drinks aren't supposed to be chunky. But for some reason, I'm hooked. (Try: Enrich, with pomegranate and cranberry. Avoid: Elated, with olive leaf. Ew.)
- sectional sofas, which I used to hate but now kind of like
- Law Abiding Citizen. Great performances by Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler, and a fairly deep, nuanced storyline that keeps you thinking. And there are also some of those moments where you find yourself feeling guilty about how much you enjoy the creativity with which Butler kills people.
- One man's inspired mission to help you find the best time to pee during a movie--and help you catch up on what you missed while you were in the can
- Dr. Seuss Chuck Taylors. (My birthday's just five months away...)

The Bad:

- the roads in Birmingham. I'll be the first to admit they desperately need resurfacing, and I almost feel like I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth here. But the chosen approach seems to be stripping every single street that is to be repaired and then starting the repairs. Right now, Southside is one pitted, cratered, washboard wasteland striped here and there with smooth, fresh pavement. Strip a road, fix a road, strip the next road, people. We don't all drive Hummers.
- Arizona come east. I'm sure it was just a coincidence that the Irondale City Council passed their resolution on immigration enforcement the same day the Justice Department sued Arizona over a nearly identical--extremely controversial, potentially discriminatory--law. And, yeah, the councilman who proposed the resolution said he based it on that Arizona law. Interesting star to hitch your wagon to, Irondale.

The Ten:

1. Tears For Fears, "I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording)"
2. Erykah Badu, "Next Lifetime"
3. Elvis, "Heartbreak Hotel"
4. Donny Hathaway, "Je Vous Aime"
5. New Order, "Krafty"
6. Lady Gaga, "Paparazzi"
7. Richard Cheese, "Guerilla Radio"
8. Garbage, "The World Is Not Enough"
9. Richard Cheese, "Welcome to the Jungle"
10. Kula Shaker, "Govinda"

What's good for you this week? That, your Ten, and three types of state-issued ID (one with photo) go in comments.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

On Glee

Okay, so I'm going to take us a little lighter on this one, because it's been a day, and sometimes we need to be taken a little lighter, and besides I can't resists an opportunity to sing the praises of Glee.

Glee is, of course, for people who love bubblegum dramedy with plenty of random-ass bursting into song. I've really enjoyed watching the character progressions--becoming increasingly annoyed with (and unsympathetic to) Rachel, getting kind of tired of the way every song Finn sings starts to sound the same, enjoying the real growth and depth of storyline for Puck and Quinn--and although I know [SPOILER!] Puck declared his love for Quinn during the season finale,[/SPOILER] I'm still kind of hoping he and Mercedes get back together.

But when I heard recently that Glee was considering an all-Britney Spears episode, I sighed and rolled my eyes. Did I love their all-Madonna episode? Did I ever. Life is meaningless until you've seen Jane Lynch do Sue Sylvester do Madonna. Did I raise an eyebrow a bit at their all-Lady Gaga episode? Yeah, kind of, since they'd done the Madonna episode so recently and it was in danger of getting gimmicky. But I did like their rendition of "Bad Romance" (although "Poker Face" sucked enthusiastically. Sit down, Rachel Berry).

And now another single-artist episode? I've made no secret of my recent unexplainable advocacy for Britney Spears, and her music can be really peppy and energizing for cleaning house. But an entire episode of Britney Spears, show-choir style, is going to get old. And cheap--when your episode is about emotional honesty or openmindedness, you're hunting through the entire catalog of popular music to assemble the perfect show. When your episode is about Britney Spears, you're hunting through... six, and only three and a half of them are any good. It's the challenge of putting together a mix CD that's just the Rolling Stones.

So here we go, Glee: I'm looking past the fact that Rachel is getting really annoying and I don't care about her relationship with her [SPOILER!]birth mother[/SPOILER]. I'm looking past the fact that Finn makes a really dumb face when he sings that he probably thinks is just earnest. I'm looking past the fact that over time, you've started squishing the Very Special Message of the episode into the last anvilicious five minutes, easing down the slippery slope into a Saturday-morning-cartoon "knowing is half the battle" recap. And I'm looking past the fact that of late, you're saying you're doing mashups when what you're really doing is medleys.

But despite all of that, I love you, and it's because of that love that I say this:

Leave Britney alone.

On not just lemonade, but SPARKLING STRAWBERRY lemonade

Okay, so optimism is important in tough times. It's good to find the cloud's silver lining. Boyfriend dumped you? Woof. But if you look at it, he was a loser anyway. No one came to your party? Aw! But now you have all those beers and burgers to yourself. Just got your wisdom teeth pulled? Ouch! But at least you have a good excuse to pop narcotics and eat ice cream. Get raped and impregnated by your father? Whoops! But look on the bright side, says Republican senate candidate Sharron Angle--now you get a baby!
Stock:What do you say then to a young girl, I am going to place it as he said it, when a young girl is raped by her father, let's say, and she is pregnant. How do you explain this to her in terms of wanting her to go through the process of having the baby?

Angle: I think that two wrongs don't make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade. Well one girl in particular moved in with the adoptive parents of her child, and they both were adopted. Both of them grew up, one graduated from high school, the other had parents that loved her and she also graduated from high school. And I'll tell you the little girl who was born from that very poor situation came to me when she was 13 and said 'I know what you did thank you for saving my life.' So it is meaningful to me to err on the side of life.
[emphasis mine]

This is one of those times when The Boy would tell me I'm out looking for things to get pissed off about, and I can't say for sure he's wrong. And even blogging about it here doesn't have a huge impact, because all of my reader--and, God willing, 98 percent of the rest of the world--recognize that looking for the lemonade in incestuous child rape is sheltered, thoughtless, ignorant, willful stupidity.

The reason this is significant is that she's not an inconsiderable presence in the upcoming Senate race. She's a darling of the Tea Party movement (as well as Phyllis Schlafly and Joe the Plumber), and she's up for Harry Reid's seat, which a lot of conservative voters would love to see filled with a Republican butt at any cost. In the current anti-liberal blowback culture, it doesn't take a lot for conservatives to look past an overwhelming volume of crazy if it means shifting the Senate balance even a little.

The above linked post includes an update reporting a response from Angle's campaign:
If abortion advocates really believed in choice as they claim, they would be just as eager to present women in these tragic situations with choices they can actually live with for years to come. That was the point I was making.

But this isn't about providing women (or, as discussed, girls) with choices they can live with. To Angle, it's about taking away their choices. It's about eliminating all but the choice she can live with.

It's not just her argument--wacko fundamentalist antis love to point out that "two wrongs don't make a right." And they don't. Raping a young girl, and then forcing her to carry and give birth to a baby whether she wants to or not, don't make anything even a little bit right. In that situation, the girl has been violated enough without having to cede further control of her body to some unsympathetic, Bible-waving stranger over in Nevada. But if God has a plan, God has a plan, right?

Let's hope to God his plan involves an overwhelming Harry Reid victory and a general opening of a whole lot of eyes. And maybe a little empathy, compassion, clarity, psychotropic drugs. Just a little? No? Just one? Still no? Okay, we'll get to that later.

Monday, July 05, 2010

On Mashup Monday: The meeting you've always wanted to see

Okay, so it's not a musical mashup, but this is such a near-seamless mixing with such care and attention to detail that I had to share it. Besides, with Twilight: Eclipse opening to the hysterical shrieking of middle-aged women with too many cats and too much disposable income across the country, I couldn't resist.

Buffy/Edward - Twilight Remixed

(Incidentally: There has been some discussion within my social group, and the consensus is that, forced to choose a "team," we'd all definitely go "Team the Guy Who Has a Tan and Body Heat and, Oh Yeah, Shape-shifts into a Freaking Wolf." That said, otherwise, we're all firmly on Team Buffy.)

Friday, July 02, 2010

On the Good, the Bad, and the Friday Random Ten

Okay, so you had to know this was coming back, right? I love me some recurring features, if only because a) they require me to post more than once a month and b) they're pretty easy to write. So here's a super-sized TGTBATFRT to make up for four months of radio silence.

What's good (for the four months ending 7/2):

- scooters. I finally got my new (used) Eaglecraft Spider insured, licensed, and ready to roll, because I certainly haven't been riding around without those things since February, and I can't get enough of it. It's fun, it looks cool, it gets 65 miles to the gallon, and I can park it on sidewalks. Seriously, what's not to like?
- the HJC CL-MAX helmet and Fieldsheer Breeze II motorcycle jacket. Scooter wreck on gravel, and I didn't feel a thing (until the next day, at least, which is to be expected). I will shill for y'all any day of the week and twice on Sundays, HJC and Fieldsheer. Motorists: Summer's a bitch, but remember that helmet, jacket, gloves, long pants, and real shoes are a hell of a lot more comfortable than skin grafts and body casts.
- people who are able to make significant, concrete efforts. I know I'm just after saying that I wasn't going to post about the Gulf spill, but the fact that Dragonfly Boatworks has had both the inclination and the impetus to do something that will have a real, positive impact is so striking to me, it makes me want to have good tears. (Okay, so I'm a crier. Deal with it.) Apparently, they're going to be selling DEA (Dragonfly Environmental Army) t-shirts to help fund the efforts, so as soon as I can find out how to get them, I'm on it.
- plastic + paper. Painting the entire damn new house has made us near-experts in the art of screwing up painting projects, and we've made lots of discoveries through trial and error. One of the biggest is that if you lay down a huge swath of painter's plastic, it protects the floor, and if you lay down a runner of painter's paper on top of that around the edges, it cuts down on time spent cursing the plastic for sticking to your socks.
- Oh, right--the new house
- that side project I mentioned
- Tim James and Dale Peterson. Oh, sweet mother of God, did I need the comedy inherent in those campaigns. The earnestness of Tim plus the indignant quasi-rage of Dale equal gold--and if we're honest, who wouldn't like to get that kind of pissed off on TV? A lot of the yuks come more easily, of course, knowing that neither candidate cleared their primary. But Dale has been good enough to give us an awesome endorsement ad for John McMillan, and I'm hoping Fox News will bring him on as a commentator. (If you agree, e-mail Fox and Friends to let them know.)

"It makes sense. Does it to you?" No, Tim, it does not make a lick of damn sense. But promise me you'll run again in 2014.
- J-Lo's ass. And not just because it brought a new appreciation for naturally badonkadonktastic women like myself--the Huffington Post's Erica Kennedy talks about the way not just her ass but her attitude and self-confidence changed the world--for women who felt that they finally had permission to appreciate themselves for who they really were, and for the society around them that was suddenly obliged to appreciate that appreciation. For that, and for Out of Sight, I salute you, JLo's Ass.
- Smucker's Uncrustables (in grape)
- The Baskits on Green Springs Highway

What's bad:

- road construction in Birmingham. Listen, guys, I'll be the first to thank you for finally getting around to fixing the horrific streets in Southside. (My new vehicle doesn't take well to potholes and patches.) But your approach of stripping every single bit of nasty pavement before starting to restore anything leaves much to be desired. My bike is getting torn up, my body is getting torn up, and that aforementioned patch of gravel (and accompanying pavement dropoff)? Guess where it came from. Strip a road, fix a road, move on to the next road. Lather, rinse, repeat. It takes a little bit longer, but it also leaves the rest of the streets traversable for vehicles not equipped with monster-truck tires.
- toxic mold. One reason of many to leave the old house.
- most fast-food joints after dark. My last few trips to Wendy's, Burger King, and Rally's have found me unable to get unsweet tea, milkshakes, pie, baked potatoes, apple pecan chicken salad, any kind of a chicken sandwich, any kind of fish sandwich, and, for that matter, anything close to decent customer service. The exception? Arby's, which came through with all requested items and a smile. Y'all, if your sign says "open late," you might want to add, "but don't come expecting to get any food."
- Love at First Bite: The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook--although this could be placed in the category of "so bad it's good" (see Jonah Hex). The absolute best part, though? The five-star review from the author herself. Just a tip, Gina: If you're going to try and pimp your own work in customer reviews, at least have the sense to use a fake name. On second thought, this doesn't belong in The Bad at all, because it's overflowing with awesome.

The Ten:

1. Luigi Boccherini, "Adagio" from Concerto in G Major
2. Dirty Vegas, "I Should Know"
3. Alphaville, "Big in Japan"
4. Fiona Apple, "Criminal"
5. Kimya Dawson, "Tree Hugger" (with Antsy Pants)
6. Fine Young Cannibals, "She Drives Me Crazy"
7. Rose Royce, "Car Wash"
8. Peter Gabriel, "While the Earth Sleeps"
9. J.S. Bach, "Var. 13" from Goldberg Variations
10. Amy Winehouse, "Rehab"

For all of my reader here in the Good Ol', happy Fourth of July, and remember that if you're going to shoot off fireworks yourself, try not to blow off your thumbs. They're really important. For my reader elsewhere, happy... Sunday. Otherwise: I know it's been quite a while and you're probably out of practice, but if you're up to it, feel free to leave your Goods, Bads, and Tens in comments.

On a lighter note (Awesome Film Edition)

Or, Maybe They Shouldn't Have Put "Hex" in the Title?

Okay, so after the total downer of the last post, I thought I might throw in a little bit of a laugh. This is one of those bits that I squirreled away during The Interregnum. I mention this because when it was first pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago, the Rotten Tomatometer was at an exuberant 14 percent.

A few highlights:

You won't be blown away, but if it's your thing, you will be entertained.

says Gary Wolcott of the Tri-City Herald.

Jonah Hex is not a good movie. Not by a long shot... But that didn't stop me from having a hell of a lot of fun watching it.

says Kevin Carr of 7M Pictures.

I liked it so much, I really want to see the rest of it. It can't really be a 75 minute movie, right?

says Fred Topel of Can Magazine.

Not that anyone should confuse this with a good movie, but it features plenty of violence, plus Megan Fox in a corset. For action fans, that's entertainment.

says Daniel M. Kimmel of New England Movies Weekly.

Why is this significant? Because those are the good reviews. That is awesome. Awesome. Awe. Some.

Awesome. I'm seeing it. I'm serious--I'm totally seeing it, and if you're in the area, I encourage you to see it with me. There will be popcorn and soda and Junior Mints and plenty of comfy seating choices in the theatre.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

On something I probably won't be blogging about

Okay, so during my brief blogging break (hereinafter known as "The Interregnum"), I continued to stockpile posts and articles and items of interest, and I managed to amass a particularly hefty folder on the Gulf oil spill. And it seems like the kind of thing that could inspire an endless stream of blog posts, with new commentary and analysis coming out every day. But the more I sort through the growing volume of stuff I've collected, the less inclined I am to bother saying anything about it.

Because frankly, what is there to say? We're in the middle--not even in the middle, tragically, still at the very beginning--of the biggest environmental shitstorm to hit my general vicinity in my lifetime. And it's getting worse, not better. And we can sit here and debate until the cows come home whose fault it is, whose responsibility it is, who should be responsible for cleanup, who should be in charge of cleanup, and you know what? It's not going to change a damn thing. Of course some discussion needs to take place to see where the system broke down so we can try to prevent this kind of disaster in the future, but outside of that, there's more or less no point to it. Even if we squeezed every available cent out of BP and Transocean and Halliburton, it's not going to be enough to unfuck the Gulf, because the Gulf is unfuckable.

And we're not talking about "if we don't do something quickly, the Gulf will soon be unfuckable." It's unfuckable now. There are animals covered in oil now. There are protected beaches and delicate marshlands dotted with oil now. There's marine life that's swallowing oil now, and even if we got out this very day and loaded the Gulf with as much chemical dispersant as Nalco has ever produced, that marine life would be swallowing little droplets of oil mixed with highly toxic chemicals. The ones that don't die will be too toxic to fish and will, God willing, be too toxic to reproduce, because if they do manage to reproduce, God only knows what the resulting offspring will look like. And bankrupting BP in the interest of cleanup efforts isn't going to undo that.

My screensaver at work for the past year has been vacation photos from Port St. Joe, Florida. Dave, The Boy, and I spent a truly fantastic week there through the generosity of a friend with a beach house. It was gorgeous--pristine, unsullied, quiet, largely undeveloped, with woods in the backyard and a state park down the road. I would have taken ten times as many photos then if I'd known that we'd probably never get a chance to go back. And for the moment, St. Joseph Bay remains clean. But there's no guarantee, and an oil slick that's expected to make it out into the mid-Atlantic certainly has the potential to swing up into that tight corner of the Gulf. I read an article recently wherein biologists judged that the bay is untouched because the dolphins are still healthy. They called the dolphins "environmental sentinels of the bay." What they meant is that the dolphins are the canaries of the bay--they'll know the Deepwater Horizon slick has hit the bay when the dolphins start dying. Dolphin X03 isn't going to leap out of the water in a blue-green shimmer to announce to biologists that the bay is contaminated. She's going to roll up on the beach with ten of her closest dolphin buddies. And at that point, the damage done will be un-doable, if it ever could have been prevented in the first place.

I'm doing my best to come to terms with the fact that there are entire species currently living in the ecosystem that won't be there by the time The Boy's three-year-old niece is old enough to appreciate them. I'm coming to terms with the fact that the sites of so many of my happy childhood memories may never again be enjoyed by young vacationers. I'm coming to terms with the fact that someday, I'm going to be regaling younger generations with once-upon-a-times about not just the Gulf but oceans largely unvisited by anyone but fishing boats. I'm coming to terms with the idea of an environment that will be significantly and irreparably different by the time this entire mess is through. I'm not entirely to terms yet, though, and just writing about it all is making me tear up, so I'm going to stop.

So I'm not going to be posting much about the Gulf spill unless something earth-shattering comes up. What's the point? I won't be posting new information on the status of the spill and cleanup efforts, because the answer will always be "rapidly declining." I won't be posting pictures of oil-slicked birds, because there are going to be more, and it just makes me cry anyway. I won't be posting castigations and condemnations of BP, because the English language doesn't include harsh enough words to express my feelings about them. And I won't be posting pleas for awareness and attention, because everyone is already aware, most people are attentive, and it's not going to change anything anyway.

The Boy has a tragic, bitter, but unfortunately accurate view of the whole thing: Liquidating BP won't be enough to fund even a fraction of the cleanup efforts necessary to restore the Gulf, and the only punitive measure significant enough to account for the damage done would be to line up the board of directors and shoot them. Since we don't do that in this country, there's verging on no point. I'll boycott BP, I might even buy a snarky t-shirt--probably not--but I'm not going to try to wrap my mind around the ongoing disaster in the interest of producing a coherent blog post. People have been taking jabs at President Obama for his suggestion, shortly after the collapse of Deepwater Horizon, that the nation turn to prayer. I'm with him. It would be nice to say we should concentrate on more tangible action, but right now, appeals to the Almighty are pretty much all we have. So I suggest we get to it.