Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
New Brunswick Board of Education defends their superintendent's golden parachute, not the golden rule.
Monroe mourns for the 10 people whose bus flipped off a mountain in Chile.
And Delphi workers wait for the ax to fall and maybe deliver some cash on the way.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
"Back in the classical period, liberal media-watchers did a brisk trade in pointing out that Fox News was not actually “Fair & Balanced,” as its slogan claimed. That was not an earth-shattering revelation; “Fair & Balanced” had always been a code whose meaning—here’s news that gives you the world as you already see it—was perfectly understood by the Fox audience...
Mainly, O’Reilly, like every political talk-show host with a big following, is a populist, who, in his beyond-irony way, is a rich, middle-aged white guy aligned with the ruling party, and who has the guts to stand up to the élitists who run (but also hate) this country. To say that that doesn’t make any sense is to deny oneself the pleasure that a close study of O’Reilly affords...
O’Reilly begins each program with an editorial called “Talking Points Memo,” which is often about the news of the day. When the subject is the Bush Administration, O’Reilly is supportive, if not in the respectful manner of most of Fox’s personalities. He seems like a guy who was initially skeptical but had a few candid, head-clearing conversations with people in the Administration and eventually came around....
O’Reilly is an amazingly nimble talent, and part of his skill is how persuasively he communicates that he is completely uncensored and incapable of guile or calculation."
Sunday, March 19, 2006
The people speak.
What if what you do to survive
Kills the things you love
Fear's a powerful thing, baby
It can turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God filled soul
And fill it with devils and dust
Friday, March 17, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Five acts might have been inducted last night, but I see where this thing is heading and it's time to pack up the stratocasters and coke and call it a day.
The Hall's first inductees in 1986:
The Everly Brothers
Jerry Lee Lewis
Last night's class:
Granted, there was bound to be some fall-off over the years from Chuck Berry and Elvis. But landing on Blondie is kind of like, I don't know, landing in Blondie I suppose.
Black Sabbath is worthy, for sure, blazing the way for an entire new and pathetic genre of poofy-hair Satanic metal.
And Lynyrd Skynyrd sure could make a cliche interesting, couldn't they? Easily the best band to die in a plane crash since The Big Bopper.
The Sex Pistols might as well be celebrated for their longevity. I mean, if we can't honor a group designed to implode in a matter of months, when why even bother calling ourselves rockers?
Now tell me who is left to induct? In the Hall's first years, it was almost a race to include every legend without whom music would never have been the same: The Coasters, Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Bill Haley, B. B. King, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Smokey Robinson, Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, Jackie Wilson, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Drifters, Bob Dylan, The Supremes.
I mean, shit. It took four years to induct The Rolling Stones.
But now these icons are sharing space with unspectacular folks like Jackson Browne, Dusty Springfield, and Percy Sledge. I mean, Jackson Browne is a nice, introspective, unoffensive singer-songwriter. Percy Sledge did "When a Man Loves a Woman" and...um...er, eh, ok.
What's gonna happen in five or 10 years. Does Motley Crue get in? Mettalica, for sure. Will rap be considered Rock and Roll? Miles Davis was inducted last night. So Run DMC should make it. Then what? The Sugar Hill Gang? The Beastie Boys? Jay Z? Madonna is a ringer, but will Cindi Lauper make the cut? Is she any less worthy than Blondie and her proto-punk new wave thing?
Point is, this place has become diluted by mediocrity and acts with a collection of songs instead of a career. It's become poluted by morphing genres and self-congratulatory mutual masturbation. Rock shouldn't be so inclusive. And an institution like the Hall should be run by rock snobs anyway.
If everyone gets in, who's gonna clean up the jizz stains after the party?
For that job, my vote's for Lynyrd Skynyrd.
"Press Your Luck" gameshow host Peter Tomarken died yesterday when the plane he was piloting crashed near Los Angeles. Tomarken, his wife and two others were killed when they volunteered to fly a medical patient from San Diego to L.A.
The Whammy thinks he's great, the Whammy thinks he's nice,but inside that body, he's got a heart of ice. ---Terry & Kevin Seagal, Carmel, IN
Thursday, March 09, 2006
This headline somehow evokes both Steve Martin's doofus hipster and Joe Piscapo's Jersey Guy characters from SNL. Not flattering. Humiliating, actually. But some decent writing for sure, that might look familiar to fans of my Thailand journal.
Except this group, who apparently didn't get the memo (about rejoicing, not personal hygeine. Near as I could tell).
Monday, March 06, 2006
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Some folks have accused me of being secretly ashamed of my interest in Oscar night while pretending not to care. The truth is that I certainly don't care in the sense that I have no stake in the proceedings. And I'm not ashamed to say that I've watched just about every Oscar telecast for the past 20 or so years. I'm not alone, you know. As a self-designated arbiter of taste and a pop-culture war chicken hawk, when America watches something, I'm watching America.
The outcome of the evening means tiddly squat to me, simply because the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences' voting record is about as good as the Palestinian people's. Or the American people's, for that matter.
Of course, there's the perpetual snubbing of Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese. Not like these two deserve any sort of recognition for, I don't know, the best films of their generations.
And I think Roger Ebert pointed out the beautiful irony that this year the Academy will honor Robert Altman for his lifetime achievement after ignoring him for his lifetime.
In recent years, you don't need to look much further than Ordinary People beating out Raging Bull for Best Picture in 1980 or the 1990 travesty of Dances With Wolves beating out Goodfellas. Don't even get me started on Forrest Gump over Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption in 1994.
Ok. You got me started. Forrest Fucking Gump? Granted, I like this movie when I first saw it. It was exceptionally well crafted, and I was even able to get past some of Tom Hanks' acting ticks to be truly moved by his performance. But if there has ever been a more cloying, crass attempt to manipulate an audience without an actual purpose or message, then I haven't seen it.
Seriously. What are we supposed to take away from this film? Stupid is as stupid does? America has gone through some tough and interesting times? War and AIDS are bad? Life is like a box of morons spouting inane drivel to a captive audience?
Forrest Gump is stubborn in its insistence to avoid any message or even the thinnest of themes throughout. It's like crying at a funeral for an advertising campaign character.
Anyway, Gump is not alone. Here are some other high crimes and Oscar snubs:
- 1941: How Green Was My Valley beat out Citizen Kane. Any idea which one has stood the test of time better?
- 1979: Kramer Vs. Kramer beat out Apocalypse Now and an un-nominated Manhattan
- 1983: Terms of Endearment beat out The Right Stuff
- 1992: Al Pacino won Best Actor for Scent of a Woman. After years of playing actual, layered human beings, he takes home the trophy for playing some absurd blind curmudgeon by yelling non-sequiters braying like a syphilitic gorilla. Hoo-ha!
- 2001: Ron Howard won Best Director and Best Film for A Beautiful Mind against anything other than this criminal manipulation of the audience and facts in service of a hyped-up shit sandwich of a movie
Friday, March 03, 2006
And New Brunswick moves closer to booting private property owners off their property to make way for mostly private development. Yay eminent domain!