Since today probably spells the end to one of the worst.political.campaigns.ever., we’re going to commit the whole day to whumping that vicious prick Rudy Giuliani over the head while we still can. So let’s start with that rousing and snicker-worthy pro-Rudy anthem “President” ... everybody ... sing it:
If there’s anything I’m more obsessed about than US politics or UConn basketball, it’s Academy Award picks because I am reliably SO FUCKING GOOD at picking the winners (I’m loathed at a regular Oscar party with betting that I attend annually). It looks like I may have some bloggy competition going with my pal Pale Dave in that category (good cripes, he knows way too much about the costume design category) . Dave, consider this a challenge. It’s you and me, mano y mano before February 24th. Let’s do this.
One thing that rabid anti-Obama Hillshills like Taylor Marsh and Larry Johnson should realize (besides the fact that there’s more than one hair stylist in the world) is that Barack isn’t just another teflon candidate, he’s the first real Boomerang Candidate. If you hurl shit at him, you’ll find a landslide of it heading back in your direction and most of it won’t be coming directly from him. And that political phenomenon isn’t going away any time soon (including during the general election, if he makes it that far). The media, including several rightwing pundits I never in a million years would have imagined going puppy-eyed for someone as liberal as Obama, are in the tank for him, much more so than they are for St. Maverick, and unless he’s got a skyscraper-sized skeleton or two hiding his closet (which I doubt) or he pulls a Bill and starts wagging his finger at journalists (once again, which I doubt), there’s nothing that’s going to pry that boomerang effect away from him in ‘08. I’ve seen a lot of concern trolling directed at Obama and his followers indicating that we have no idea what the Republicans will throw at him in November. They proclaim that his love affair with the media will eventually wear off and they’ll go all Sweeney Todd on the Chosen One. It ain’t gonna happen.
Take South Carolina for example. He was up against not one but two of the best political minds of our generation, both of whom were still juiced up from a surprise victory in New Hampshire and a strong level of support from Democrats, including myself, who thought the media was piling on Hillary a bit too much post-Iowa. After a relatively quiet win in Nevada they strolled into South Carolina down in the polls but up to their necks in overconfidence. They unleashed The Machine, an awesome and ugly thing, and went to work lowering expectations and trying to muddy up Obamamania with Rottwilliam Jefferson Clinton clumsily leading the charge. They thought they had teed it up perfectly; a loss for Barack would be a very bad loss and a win was ultimately a loss because all of his votes would have come from a swarthy swath of Brother and Sister Souljahs, clearly laying bare the inevitability of his ultimate doom on Supercalifragilistic Tuesday when whitey would rule the roost.
And then Obama beat the Clintons like a pair of mewling political simpletons in South Carolina. He crushed them, blowing away Hillary by more than a 2:1 margin and leaving Bill looking like a post-beatdown Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story—a laughable, bloodied fool. And then Barack deftly orated all over their sorry asses in his victory speech, smothering both of them (and their entire operation) under a comforting blanket of change and hope and unity that was laced with some of the most inventive velvety venom ever unleashed in the political realm. It was expert gamesmanship and a definitive warning to everyone, pols and pundits alike, that Obama’s not some naïve flash-in-the-pan dreamboat who will be ground up by the vast right-wing conspiracy in the general election, but a savvy political player and a real threat in ’08.
He’s the Boomerang Candidate. Go ahead, fling it. I dare you. You’ll be sorry you did.
JUST IN: Toni Morrison, who famously dubbed Bill Clinton “the first black president,” is endorsing Obama today along with Ted Kennedy.
Two of the happiest moments in my life occurred in 1999. The best of those was when I married my wonderful wife Chris in front of family and friends on a scorching July day on a classed-up barge docked by the Brooklyn Bridge. The other great moment unfolded in a tiny Fort Greene studio apartment that was crammed with several of my college pals as we watched our beloved Connecticut Huskies beat the repulsive Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA basketball championship game. When the game ended we were all jumping up and down so much you could actually feel the geriatric wood floors flexing from the stress. We laughed, we cried, we high-fived like fools, we ran to the rooftop garden and screamed at the top of our lungs. It was a great night that turned into a great drunken morning (and a really bad next day at work).
Fast forward to 2008 and it’s been a bit of a chore to be a Huskies fan of late. The 2006-07 season ended with a very young Huskies squad finishing a dismal 6-10 in the Big East during the regular season and, ultimately, not getting invited to either the NCAA or NIT tournaments. This year started out poorly as well, but UConn has been on a short, impressive run. First they clobbered 13th-ranked Marquette and then beat formidable Cincinnati on their home court. Today they took on the Indiana Hoosiers and this is why I didn’t want to watch:
Indiana is currently ranked #7 in the nation and had a thirteen-game winning streak going into today’s game. UConn is unranked and had a two-game winning streak going into today’s game.
The game was taking place in Indiana’s Assembly Hall and the Hoosiers had a 29-game home winning streak going into today’s game.
And if that wasn’t bad enough ... UConn coach Jim Calhoun indefinitely suspended starting shooting guard Jerome Dyson and bench guard (and occasional spark plug) Doug Wiggins.
In the previous post I said I was going to avoid politics for the next few days. I forgot I only had a few more days to kick Rudy in ground zero:
“He strikes me as weird,” said Donald Croll, a retired engineer who attended a Giuliani rally in Sun City. He frowned at the memory of Mr. Giuliani appearing in drag at a New York event and divorcing his second wife while having an affair with the woman who became his third. Said Mr. Croll: “I’ve had two wives, but my first one died of cancer.”
After reading this and this, I’ve lost nearly all interest in reading or viewing anything even remotely political for a few days. The insertion of the Clinton machine into this election cycle has been like pouring raw sewage into what should have been the.best.punch.bowl.ever. I’m not naive, I knew it was going to get a little ugly, but I never imagined it would get this ugly this early. If Hillary wins the nomination, not only will I have a hard time pulling the lever for her in November, but I may switch to being an independent voter. Obama or Edwards could have saved this party. The Clintons are going to drown it in the bathtub.
MORE: Digby, who had to close down her comments because the bickering got so bad on her blog, seems to think this won’t hurt the party. I normally agree with her, but in this case she’s wrong.
FINALLY: This Daily Kos diary entry highlighting today’s editorial from Bob Hebert is worth a look, especially for the comments. If you don’t think a Clinton candidacy is going to dishearten and disengage a large chunk of the Democratic party (and reinvigorate the currently moribund Republicans), you are living in a—to quote Bill Clinton—“fairy tale.”
Which brings us to Rambo, the newest chapter in the saga of our tin soldier. The film hadn’t screened as of press time, although Internet chatter has divulged that John Rambo once again gets to unleash his blood-splattering fury on the cultural other, this time in Burma. Given the current nostalgia from the I-love-the-’80s generation and Stallone’s ongoing attempts at career resuscitation, it’s not that surprising that he’d bring back his second-most-popular creation. During a recent Q&A at online fanboy hangout Ain’t It Cool News, the star was asked why Rambo was “pussing out” on attacking Islamofascism; Stallone replied that it would be disrespectful to the soldiers who were actually dying fighting it.
The fact that it’s still ideologically disrespectful to present warfare as entertainment while men and women lose their lives isn’t mentioned, but if a fifth film gets greenlit, I’d like to propose a scenario. Send John Rambo to Iraq, where he’s given inadequate body armor and has his arms and legs blown off. The last shot finds the supersoldier once again ignored by his government at a decrepit Walter Reed hospital, left only to stare off into the distance. Only then will he have finally come full circle.
Brendan Gleeson, Martin McDonagh & Colin Farrell (l to r) on the set of In Bruges, the best damn film I’ve seen in a very long time.
I had the privilege last night of viewing an advance screening of Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges and was quite literally blown away by it. This buddy-crime dramedy is leagues better than any film I saw in 2007, including the overrated No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood, and, at the moment, I have a hard time believing it won’t be my favorite of 2008. McDonagh, who looks disturbingly like Sting, has written a screenplay jam-packed with dazzling dialogue and intriguing, well-placed plot twists. It’s also uproariously funny, providing bigger (and better) laughs than anything that’s spuzzed its way out of Judd Apatow’s Doo Doo Pee Pee Academy.
In addition, the casting is nothing short of brilliant. Previous to his turn in this film, the only thing that has impressed me about Colin Farrell is his ability to use the word “fuck” more than the word “the” in casual conversations. As Ray, he expertly weaves a thoroughly convincing amount of pathos into a newly-minted hired killer who, for the most part, lives on the edge a pin and laughs his ass off whenever he loses his balance. He’s the epicenter of some of the best gags in the film and he never disappoints. A career-making performance. The doughy and loveable Brendan Gleeson plays Ray’s mentor Ken, a seasoned and unlikely assassin, who serves as the voice of reason amidst a chaotic and ever-changing situation that was supposed to be anything but. Gleeson adds layers of soul to man who has killed several people without blinking an eye. The normally eloquent Ralph Fiennes surprises as their expletive-laced, don’t-fuck-with-me boss Harry, who’s performance has been compared to Ben Kingley’s Don Logan in Sexy Beast, but he slowly massages Harry into a more complex and nuanced character than Logan, just stopping short of the point where you don’t want to see him die in a really horrible way.* The rest of the cast is stellar as well, from “little person” Jordan Prentice, whose previous big role involved being stuffed into Howard the Duck’s costume, as the horse-tranquilizer-gobbling dwarf actor Jimmy, to Eric Godon, who plays Belgian antique and gun dealer Yuri, an odd man who turns the word “alcove” into one of the funniest utterances ever.
Hopefully this bloody and bombastic buddy film will find an audience, but the difficult title and the immensely clever but unconventional ending may hold it back. Too bad, because In Bruges is just as good as anything in Tarantino’s oeuvre, including Pulp Fiction, which it’s more inventive than in several ways, and McDonagh’s craft richly deserves to be generously spread across as many needy eyes and ears as possible. I’ll stop short of calling it a modern masterpiece, but there’s a little part of me that wants to pistol-whip myself into doing so. It’s just that good.
* Since this review is getting some steady traffic from sites saying I’m giving away a plot point, I should clarify that I’m not saying that Harry dies in “a really horrible way,” just that I wanted him to. Maybe he dies, maybe he doesn’t. As I indicated, it’s a surprise ending.
Taylor Marsh hugs herself after performing her kickass version of
“Love Is A Battlefield” at a Hillary Clinton karaoke benefit.
Good cripes, I’ve never paid much attention to C-list talk radio host* Taylor “Mushroom Top” Marsh, but if you want to witness full-blown Obama Derangement Syndrome, you’ve really got to check out her site. Rather than focus on why her gal Hillary deserves your vote, she chooses instead to dig deep into the scum bucket for anti-Obama oppo dreck and limits her praise for the Clintons to adoringly drooling about how skillfully they’re taking Obama “off his game.” I’ve never witnessed relentless, wild-eyed attacks on a Democratic candidate like this from a liberal/progressive/whatever blog before. If anyone can point me to a pro-Obama blog that’s unleashing anti-Hillary rants that are even remotely as unseemly or unrelenting, I’m all eyes. Until then, Mushy wins my award for Demohack of ‘08.
* Is there any evidence that Mushy is or has been a “radio show talk host” as her bio states? I can’t find any evidence of it. Or is she just a podcaster? There’s a difference, radio hosts can be heard on radios. Podcasters can’t. She allegedly “launched her radio show in Las Vegas” in 2002, but did she launch it on, ya know, a radio station? Was it syndicated and picked up by anyone? If not, sorry, she’s not a “radio show talk host,” she’s just a podcaster. And after listening to a some of Mushy’s recent podcasts, that’s a very good thing.
Then he leans in to listen to a question from a television reporter: “Mayor, you’ve had the state to yourself here in Florida for so long, for weeks,” she says. “Why is it that you seem to be losing support, not gaining support?”
The eyes of Rudolph W. Giuliani pop wide. He tosses back his head and cackles in a manner not even vaguely suggestive of humor. What a crazy idea!
“I think the reality is that we are gaining support,” he said. “Our campaign is now in high gear.”
Before another question can be asked, Mr. Giuliani says thank you, waves, pivots, kisses a startled baby and walks out a side door.
Here’s a sneak peek at Olafur Eliasson’s “New York City Waterfalls,” which will send water cascading from under the Brooklyn Bridge and from three free-standing scaffolds in New York Harbor — including this view of Governors Island off Red Hook — from July through October.
In the spirit of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “The Gates” project, Eliasson’s $15 million art project will consist of four waterfalls, towering between 90 and 120 feet, that will gush between 7 am and 10 pm every day.
You can view all of the waterfall images here. You can check out more of Eliasson’s work here.
The Associated (With Terrorists) Press filed this story re: today’s event, and included 4 photos. 3 were of the Ron Paulians, 1 was of Rudy (with signs behind him) and 1 was of a DOG. The reporting on this is a scandal. Not 1 pic from inside the place—- PACKED TO THE GILLS with supporters.
The story she’s referring to is this one. As it turns out, the “Associated (With Terrorists) Press” did take a few photos inside of the restaurant. Want to see what “PACKED TO THE GILLS” looks like?
This is what it looks like:
That’s Molly and Matilda Gills on the left, waiting for their check.