Via J-Two-O via Another David S., an Audi ad featuring the Two Spocks:
Nerd-Child and I already have our Star Trek Into Darkness tickets and are eagerly awaiting the premiere. We both love the franchise, but the kiddo is even more stoked than usual because the wonderfully named Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the cast as Khan. Nerd-Child informed me that Cumberbatch’s fans are referred to as “Cumberbitches.” Not in this house, they aren’t.
Anyhoo, has any classic TV series produced as many national treasures as the original Star Trek, which gave us Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, William Shatner, et al? Discuss! Or talk about whatever…
Granted, it wasn’t as much fun as Billy Zane, Leo DiCaprio, The Heart Of The Ocean and that slinky flapper who was Claude Rains’ girlfriend in The Invisible Man… but this tuneful memorial to the sinking Titanic remains a wonderful tribute to the April 15th birthday of America’s colossal maritime tragedy.
So, Claire McCaskill announced her support for marriage equality this weekend. Brave move from a Senator in a red state? Craven bandwagon-jumping?
McCaskill can be exasperatingly Blue Doggy, but I think she deserves credit for openly supporting marriage equality, even if she’s hardly the first Dem out of the gate. Consider that she would have almost surely lost in 2012 to dead-eyed loon Todd Akin if he hadn’t been stricken with that peculiar strain of Rape Commentary Tourette’s that plagued last year’s crop of GOP candidates.
Even if the announcement is less than a profile in courage, it’s still a victory. Good for McCaskill.
A short clip of this Stones song was featured in “Argo.” The lyrics are obviously the result of a prolonged heroin binge, but the song rocks nonetheless:
In a comment on an Oscars thread yesterday, Robin G praised “Moonrise Kingdom.” I’d been meaning to see it and finally did last night. Awesome movie—highly recommended—and thanks for reminding me of it, Robin G: It was exactly the thing I needed to see.
Why People Hate the Government
My teenage daughter will soon go on a class trip that involves a domestic flight. Among the many neuroses her father and I share is an aversion to flying, but we try not to allow our eccentricities to completely dominate our child’s life, which is some of the hardest work in parenting. However, our ignorance of the demands of modern air travel nearly put the kibosh on a trip for which we’d already paid $1,400 (non-refundable!).
We foolishly assumed minors accompanied by fellow students, teachers and chaperones on a school-sponsored class trip would be allowed to board a winged bus to a destination within the United States with only common forms of identification like a student ID card and birth certificate. Not so; now, even a child must have an official state ID card from the DMV to board a plane. (Because of 9/11? If so, that’s reason enough to take a scuba trip to the North Arabian Sea, find Osama bin Laden’s skull and fashion it into a poop-scoop.)
Anyhoo, we learned that to obtain an official state ID card, a kid must have a Social Security card or a specific printout from the Social Security Administration verifying her application for a Social Security card. The form containing the same information that is issued to new parents to enable them to deduct children from their taxes doesn’t count, or so I was told by the DMV.
To obtain the magical correct form, one must have many additional forms of ID, which may or may not be acceptable to the person at SSA who ultimately reviews it. County school district vaccination records are considered a kind of gold standard, though. I learned this after finally reaching a human being following multiple excursions into the SSA’s hellish, circular automated call menu, which is designed to automatically dump callers if too many other luckless supplicants are in queue, a situation that is apparently the case 90% of the time.
Thus it came to pass that the kid and I took a day off of school and work last week and visited the Three Circles of Bureaucratic Hell in a nearby city. First we sat in the overflow holding area at the county health department to secure the vaccination records, occupying a zone teeming with screaming toddlers, anxious children and nervous families applying for citizenship or refugee status.
Then we languished in the waiting room at the local branch of the Social Security Administration with many crabby elderly folks, some of whom seemed to be practicing outraged speeches to unleash on the indifferent heads of bureaucrats seated behind numbered, Plexiglass-barred window openings in a vast, echoing hall that would make a great set for a MiniTruth scene from “1984.”
After emerging from that ordeal limp and exhausted by ennui, we made our way to the DMV for another crushing round of paper-shuffling and waiting. All told, it took around seven hours (not counting transportation), which was actually less than I thought it would. But it occurred to me that perhaps the experience of being gnashed in the gears of bureaucratic machinery is a more potent driver of people’s reflexive hatred of government than I’d realized.
I’m a confirmed fan of Big Government. I don’t enjoy paying taxes any more than I look forward to dental work, but I understand the necessity of both. The only thing that pisses me off about my tax rate is that Mitt Romney pays a lower percentage, and I’d gladly exchange a larger chunk of my income for a Scandinavian-style social safety net.
But I flatter myself and the Balloon Juice / Rumproast communities by believing that we’ve thought this through more than Honey Boo Boo’s core audience has. To them, the silly hoop-jumping requirements, appalling run-arounds and astoundingly inefficient service on display at the customer-facing outlets of local, state and federal agencies are The Government. Which makes it easier to understand why assholes like Rand Paul get elected.
Maybe better customer service would help consign Reaganism to the political dung heap it so richly deserves? It’s a thought.
Please feel free to discuss movies, music, parenting, soulless bureaucracy or anything else. In other words, open thread.
If this Treasury Secretary thing doesn’t work out for Jack Lew, he can always play Grandpa Harry Potter in an unauthorized sequel to the series. Or maybe Lew really IS a wizard and can take care of the debt ceiling nonsense with a clever spell. “Republicanus Embrainiamo” or something…
I’m taking the teen to see a matinee showing of “Zero Dark Thirty” today. We’ll see for ourselves how the torture issue is handled and discuss the truth (as we know it) and politics of it afterward. What are y’all up to this fine Sunday morning?
Two things that never appeared previously in the Superman Comics Universe:
• Fashionably color-dampened Superman without his bulging red underpants.
• Stylishly-bearded Cluck Bent answers Bruce Campbell’s immortal book title, If Chins Could Kill.
Sad to say, that’s all I know about The Man Of Steel franchise that debuts its first $1.95 burger platter later this year. For all intents and purposes, it looks like The Man Of Steel will more nearly resemble That Guy From Last Night or audition-losing talent who weren’t selected for the Brawny paper towel wrapper. If Jor-El sucks as badly in this film as he did during ten years of hyperventilating fatherhood in the TV series Smallville, the next Superman film will be the last one ever…starring Michael Richards.
No, it’s actually just a stinger scene from Trey Stone and Matt Parker’s X-rated comedy classic Orgazmo. In it, Parker’s character Elder Young is mistaken by porn film producer Maxxx Orbison for that famous hunka-hunka burning love memorialized by Elvis Presley (or was that William F. Burroughs?). In the same dangerous moment of misinterpretation Young’s junior missionary partner Ben Chepleski (Dian Bachar) is errantly ascribed the cheerful disposition and dual-purpose plumbing gear you’d expect from a fishnet-stockinged Robin.
Enjoy! If you get time and the opportunity, please treat yourself to three other South Park movies—Cannibal, The Musical; Team America: World Police; and South Park—Bigger, Longer, And Uncut.
I saw it with my teenage daughter this week, and we both thought it was excellent. Daniel Day Lewis was fantastic as the tortured, humorous and scheming Mr. Lincoln. Sally Field was twitchy, brittle, sad and marvelous as Mary Todd Lincoln.
If the set accurately portrayed the White House circa 1865, it was a drafty, chilly, besieged place with few creature comforts (though surely a damn sight more luxurious than the average citizen had at the time, even in non-war-torn sections of the country).
The most affecting image from the film for me was Mr. Lincoln padding through the White House in his slippers, bundled up in a throw. This image recurred a couple of times if I recall correctly: It seemed to be filmed from the vantage point of Lincoln’s son Tad watching his father walk away in the gloom after fondly tucking the boy in for the night. It’s actually a pretty good visual metaphor for what our greatest president meant to us as a nation.
The only presidents my 14-year-old personally remembers are George W. Bush and Barack Obama. So it was kind of a shock for her to see Republicans in the role of the good guys.
Please feel free to discuss the movie or whatever…
As we lurch inevitably toward the convention season, I’m sure that like me, you can hardly contain your excitement as the perpwalkers form an orderly queue in the aisles for the 2012 Elephants’ Graveyard Porn and Bathroom Stall Tapdancing Convention, the star-studded line-up of poledancers speakers so far featuring Rick Santorum, Jeb Bush, Mary Fallin, Nikki Haley, John Kasich, Rick Scott, Condoleezza Rice, Susana Martinez, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Rand Paul.
Let’s just pause a moment to fan ourselves and catch our breath. Ready? OK. Onward.
As pundits try to scan the runes for any signs of who may win the coveted slot of straightman and ultimate fallguy to hypothetically replace President Mitt if he meets an untimely demise or gets impeached and locked up in chains when his sordid past catches up with him, speculation has focused on current omissions from the list as an indicator of who may receive the kiss of death. Some have noted a large number of recent revisions of razzle-dazzle Rob Portman’s Wikipedia page as an augury, but this could be a false trail.
So far, Sarah Palin is very conspicuously absent from the menu, so make of that what you will. No worries. On the basis that none of her dozens of viewers would notice the difference, Greta Van Susteren got her staff to trick Birther King and international bankrupt Donald “Duckface” Trump out in Palinic hair extensions and a push-up bra for his dialed-in appearance on her show and grilled him mercilessly about his role at the convention:
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now, Donald Trump. He wants to know if President Obama’s hiding something. What is it this time? Plus, Donald Trump is planning to do something very, very major at the Republican national convention.
VAN SUSTEREN: So Donald, the Republican convention’s coming up. Are you going? That’s the first question. Secondly, if you are, do you intend to be speaking to the audience
TRUMP: Well, they want me to go. And I’m going to be in Sarasota the night before, where I’m being honored by the Republican Party in Florida as the statesman of the year. And that will be very interesting and I look forward to that. And I probably will be going, but they do want me to go, yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: How about speak? Have you been asked to speak?
TRUMP: I’d rather not say that yet, but they do want me to do something very major at the convention.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, something very major. Now you’ve have certainly teased us. What’s the very major? Can you give us a hint?
TRUMP: I can’t. I’m not allowed to say, but it’s something very, very major.
In case you missed that, Donald Trump is planning to DO SOMETHING VERY, VERY MAJOR AT THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION. Given that he once offered to flash Gloria Allred and insisted that she “would be ‘very, very impressed’ with his genitals,” that’s probably one to set the DVR for. I also believe under your new super-duper socialist ACA, you can now get group rates on PTSD counseling.
To stave off the suspense for those who can’t wait to witness this historic spectacle, here’s another little feature on Mr. Trump’s dick. Bill Moyers interviews Anthony Baxter, director of the documentary You’ve Been Trumped, about The Donald’s maltreatment of assorted peasants and abuse of the democratic process while constructing Scotland’s gazillionth golf course (which we’ve covered before, here and here).
Thanks, kid, but you must be thinking of someone else, I wasn’t on “Cheers.”
Well, Parker’s home and recuperating from surgery, and I still can’t use my dominant hand for more than a few minutes at a time (to answer the obvious question, no, I did not have my Rollerblading accident prior to drawing that Geraldo Rivera cartoon, and to answer the other obvious question, no, Parker wasn’t with me when I ate it; our injuries are unrelated, not that I’m entirely guilt-free as regards his tripedalism). But the internet craves content, and this hilarious story (note: the Onion AV Club is not a satirical site) gives me a thin excuse to repost something I wrote a few years ago, back when I didn’t have a platform and toiled away in obscurity. Bush was president then, though, so don’t get all nostalgic for the good ol’ days.
Mel Gibson: Chemical Interactions
Alcohol: Belligerent anti-Semitism
Absinthe: Belligerent anti-Sem… whoa. Get. The fuck. Out.
Lithium: An even keel but a sneaking suspicion that he’s just not Mel without the anti-Semitism
LSD: Incense and anti-Semitismints the color of time
Peyote: His vision-quest spirit guide isn’t a Jew, is it? Dingos can’t be Jewish, right?
Isoflourine: Comforting sense that the Jewish problem will work itself out somehow
Odor particles, own feces: Preening self-satisfaction, conflation of identity with that of heroes portrayed, plus he just likes the smell
Exhaust fumes: A perfectly serviceable Aussie B-movie (add mohawk dander to increase awesomeness quotient tenfold)
Tina Turner, whose charisma should be regulated as a controlled substance: Trapeze fights? The fuck?
Mennen Aftershave: GrrraaaAAARRGH! (pounds sink with fist, hyperventilates through clenched teeth, stares wildly at self in mirror)
Zyklon B: Belated acceptance of its existence/lethality
This damning exposé by Big Rump editor-at-large Gil Mann is getting worse all the time!
Sounds like somebody knocked over a can of Colt 45, but that’s not what it is. It is, rather, the sound of a steady leak of damaging allegations. And no matter how much enablers in the MSM try to pretend otherwise, THE TRUTH will eventually pool on the tile, and if you’re walking around in your socks, THE TRUTH will out and might give you trench foot if you ignore it.
I told you that shocking clip I released earlier was just the beginning, and… what? I didn’t? Oh crap, that’s right, I meant to crib Shapiro’s last two graphs but only copy-pasted the penultimate one. My co-bloggers told me they fixed it! I trusted them to fix it! It’s not my fault!
Hello, what have we here? A BLACK MAN GIVING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING A HUG THAT’S WHAT.
THE TRUTH. Outs every time.
This is all far from over, assuming I can locate a clip of Tim Meadows’s “Handsome Black Man” sketch. Otherwise yeah, it’s over. I already wasted countless hours trying to find something useful from Starsky and Hutch, but talk about a misnomer—that pimp never hugs a soul, much less David.
TERRORIST TORSO-BUMP? Big Rump editor-at-large Gil Mann reveals exclusive footage of black person engaged in “hugging.”
The novel: 496 pages. The film: 2 hours and 21 minutes. SELECTIVELY EDITED MUCH?
The MSM would have you believe this isn’t a bombshell revelation, and okay, technically I guess that would better describe Roberts’s breakout role in Mystic Pizza, but still, check out those gams!
And where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people in three simple words—“pel I can.”
Here’s what we’d be opening our hearts and minds to: this is a man who posited that the civil rights movement was too moderate because it accepted the status quo. This is a man so extreme that, as we’ve reported, he posited that white Americans would sell black Americans into slavery to aliens to relieve the national debt, and that Jews would go along with it. That is the plot of Virtuosity, right? I nodded off a couple times.
Whenever the culture wars take center stage, I start seeing closet cases under every bed (in those storage bins that slide out, so they’re still in something closetlike). It just wraps a moral scold’s whole deal up in a nice little package, y’know? But that’s too reductionist, and it’s not like there’s anything inherently wrong with being a big huge queen, and yet some images won’t be denied their due, so with my apologies to Michael Medved and his, I’m sure, more than satisfied wife, here he is trying to resist going to town on an ersatz cock.
Sorry, had to get that out of the way. Okay, so his review of the Oscars is here, and long story short, he did not like that dog-licking-its-balls joke, not one bit, mister, but he found the night overall heartening for conservatives. Because they’re Francophiles, ‘member? Anyway, he’s apparently never heard an acceptance speech before, he thinks thanking your spouse along with the cast and crew is a) rare and b) like voting for Prop 8.
Yes, I do have a complete set of Lord of the Rings Pez dispensers. Make of that what you will.
Is it sneezy where you live? Down here in my part of Florida, the oak pollen is sky high, and there’s been a run on Claritin at the local pharmacy.
Also, I think this guy [WARNING: YouTube link to wildly viral vid of dad who shot his daughter’s laptop because she slagged him on Facebook] is a dick. I have a pain-in-the-arse teen myself, so I get the frustration. But I can’t stand a petulant, macho-shithead gun-fondler, and that’s how this dude comes across. Donate the goddamn laptop to the local homeless shelter next time, asshole!
Former Republican congressman and libertarian hero Bob Barr takes aim at gun control advocates:
Of course, the media often reports on violent crime, which aides anti-gun politicians in their never-ending crusade against firearm rights. After all, bad and salacious news sells. The facts, however, tell another story. According to a seminal study published in the mid-1990s by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, firearms are used in self-defense about 2.5 million times each year in this country.
Unfortunately, news stories that feature law-biding citizens using firearms to fend off attackers often either go unreported or wind up buried in the back pages of newspapers.
Then, in a spectacular display of “who ya gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?” he goes on to state a blatant untruth about one such incident:
The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in ‘Episode IV,’ what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.
Imagine the contempt he must have for his audience to be so brazenly disingenu… hold on, I think I got my notes mixed up.