Sunday, August 24, 2014

We've Moved!

This actually occurred a long time ago, and I may have sort of forgotten that this blog was here.

You can find pretty much all of the content of this blog, as well as more than two years' worth of new content, at (where I moved this blog in early 2012).

I will eventually be deleting this blog, so go check out the (comparatively) new site!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Not surprisingly, The Onion covers an issue better than the actual media

From a recent Onion article, "U.S. Finally Gets Around To Prosecuting Mastermind Behind 9/11":
The Justice Department announced Monday that it had finally found enough time in its busy schedule to squeeze in the prosecution of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, more than six years after the high-profile suspect was captured and eight years after the worst-ever terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
That's really the issue here--why hasn't this happened much, much sooner? All of the concerns voiced by those opposed to, uh, the rule of law (not sure how better to phrase that) trot out the same old canards that a trial will make us vulnerable to attack (c/o Mitch McConnell, who seems to have forgotten that we are always targets for attack) or the unbelievably tired "pre-9/11 mindset" arguments (this time c/o Michael Mukasey):
Michael Mukasey...said criminal courts were a bad choice for trying the alleged 9/11 plotters. He said the decision represented a turn from the Bush administration's war footing to a "Sept. 10, 2001" mentality.

"The plan seems to abandon the view that we are involved in a war," said Mr. Mukasey.
Of course, the Congressional Republicans themselves display a shocking lack of any noticeable sense of irony in addressing how trying Mohammed now would only delay justice:
Delayed Justice: In New York, KSM will enjoy the legal rights and benefits of U.S. citizens and resident aliens under the Constitution. A criminal trial will force the government to reveal all of its intelligence on KSM and how it obtained it. Additionally, treating the 9/11 attacks as a simple criminal matter rather than an act of war will hinder U.S. efforts to fight terrorism and sends the wrong signal to U.S. enemies abroad. A costly civilian court trial for KSM will also likely take years. The trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, for example, was tied up in court for more than four years by his lawyers and ended only when Moussaoui pleaded guilty.
Anyway, I've noted before that it is conceivably possible to prosecute unspeakable and unconscionable war crimes in a civilized manner, that most Republicans turn into pants-wetting sissies at the very thought of civilian trials, and that The Onion has a disquietingly prescient sense of humor.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Annual Halloween Crappy Horror Movie Fest movie #3: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Not too much to say about this one. It fills out the story elements hinted at in the first two movies, although it is not strictly necessary to the overall story--perhaps it was just too tempting to create an Underworld trilogy. This installment only brings out Kate Beckinsale in stock footage, opting for the almost-as-hot Rhona Mitra (who was once the model for Lara Croft).

There's basically no suspense, since viewers of the first two films know exactly what's going to happen--the thrill is to finally see vampires and werewolves go at it with swords, arrows, and claws, rather than the oddly modern and high-tech bullets of the first movie. So basically, there are vampires and werewolves, and British women in very tight clothing. Way to be.

Interesting side note: the director, Patrick Tatopoulos, was the "creatures designer" for both The Cave and Pitch Black, making this film choice oddly evocative of my film choice of earlier today.

Annual Halloween Crappy Horror Movie Fest movie #2: Gone

For my next crappy horror film I decided to try Australia's Gone, for the main reason that it supposedly stars "Chuck's" Yvonne Strzechowski (who appears in one scene and has no dialogue, alas).

As if Wolf Creek didn't teach us all what a terrifying, Chainsaw Massacre-esque place Western Australia is, Gone sets out a run-of-the-mill three-person suspense thriller, with a young hip Australian couple terrorized by Scott Mechlowicz (of EuroTrip fame, who, after this movie and Mean Creek, can probably never play a normal person again.) That's really all I can say about this movie. Mechlowicz has fully transformed from the innocent but lovable doofus of EuroTrip to a career as a B-movie creepy guy. There's really no suspense until the last ten minutes or so, with the buildup consisting of various predictable efforts by the villain to create distrust between the Australian couple--he is helped by the fact that the boyfriend is a spazz and the girlfriend is an idiot.

The grand ending (Spoiler alert!) is definitely one to go down in the hall of fame for Frightening Use of Chain Link. Other than that, meh.

Annual Halloween Crappy Horror Movie Fest movie #1: The Cave

This movie just plain sucked, despite having Lena Heady (pre-Sarah Connor and pre-300).

Send a bunch of seasoned spelunkers and biologists into a quasi-mystical Romanian cave system, and the best they could come up with to hunt them was the deformed love child of the Alien and the things from Pitch Black?

This film had a budget of $30 million--I wonder how many cups of coffee a day that could have bought in order to save children?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Classic joke of the day

Holmes and Watson are on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and gives Dr. Watson a nudge. "Watson," he says, "look up in the sky and tell me what you see."

"I see millions of stars, Holmes," says Watson.

"And what do you conclude from that, Watson?"

Watson thinks for a moment, "Well," he says, "astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and we are small and insignificant. Uh, what does that tell you, Holmes?"

"Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!"
h/t Mitch Ditkoff

Saturday, June 27, 2009

No one falls asleep during a tattoo session (I think)

Those who follow tattoo news may have heard about the Belgian girl who claims she asked for three stars to be tattooed on her face, then fell asleep and woke up to find 56 stars there instead, and wanted to sue the tattoo artist:

Now, it turns out she made the whole thing up to placate her father, who was, perhaps understandably, upset at her new facial adornment:
[S]he told Dutch TV this week, "I asked for 56 stars and initially adored them. But when my father saw them, he was furious."

The tattoo artist also said [she] had agreed to 56 stars.

"She agreed, but when her father saw it, the trouble started," Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws quoted the man as saying.
I think the moral here is to always get informed consent, and maybe to be a little leery of 18 year-olds wanting their faces covered in tattoos. Kudos to the tattoo artist, Rouslan Toumaniantz, for seeing the real lessons here:
Toumaniantz, who is covered from head to toe in tattoo artistry, said the only thing he was disappointed in was having an unhappy client.

"I don't regret it. To tell you the truth, this has given me some publicity," Toumanaintz told The Telegraph.

He will now require written consent from clients before any procedure, he said.
I had always thought the catastrophic pain associated with getting a tattoo was contract enough--who would do that on accident?--but the man is wise. He didn't do anything wrong, but it would be good for him to have a better way to prove that.

In the meantime, a pretty 18 year-old Belgian girl has a face intentionally covered in 56 stars. Maybe there's a broader issue there than informed consent--just sayin'.