Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Poor You

Glenn Greenwald dissects the self-pity of billionaires decrying Obamanomics.

I'm not sure I'll every understand why there hasn't been a populist uprising against these phonies.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Metal On Metal On Metal (On Metal)

I picked up this blog again because of all the crap going on the world. Earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown crap. Wars and stuff. A seemingly intractable political divide here at home. The growing chasm between the super-rich and the rest of us. The complete abandonment of the poor.

But fuck all that. Watch "Anvil! The Story of Anvil." Appreciate what you've got and what you might not be destined to get.

The story of a long-suffering Canadian metal band, "Anvil" plays like a cross between "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" and "Spinal Tap." In fact, the documentary has enough peculiar "Tap" references that some reviewers even thought it could be an elaborate hoax. A record producer has gain dials that go to 11. The band visits Stonehenge. The drummer's name is Robb Reiner (with the extra "b").

But this is the kind of stuff that's too strange to be fiction. And there's as much hilarity as heart-rending honesty and inspiration. It's the story of a pair of talented (though I think their music is god-awful, at least it takes some talent to play) Jews from Toronto who love playing their crap music, love their families and love each other. Which leads to all the tension in a career that generates a parade of critical acclaim and plaudits from guys like Lars Ulrich and Slash but nothing to show for it beyond hapless European tours that offer nothing but a poorly-paying vacation from their regular non-musical jobs.

This movie has it all. Hair. Fighting. A surprising lack of drugs. And Steve "Lips" Kudlow plays his guitar with a vibrator.

"Anvil": The feel-good movie of a feel-bad year.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fly Like A Beagle

Nothing like a dog almost too smart for his own good.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


For some reason I've never gotten around to seeing any of Elizabeth Taylor's films. One of several glaring gaps in my film knowledge.

So I can't really praise her acting. And I didn't know her, though by all accounts she was a loving person loved by friends and family. Her charity work certainly deserves plenty of plaudits.

And yet the first thing that sprung to mind when I heard of her death today is her cameo as the voice of Maggie Simpson. And this crass entertainment news magazine video when asked about possibly marrying for the ninth time. Rest in peace, Liz. We all howl at the heavens tonight.

While I Was Away

Hm. It appears I may have missed some stuff this past year. Certainly nothing going on lately I can think of...

Nobody Wins Unless Everyone Wins

"There's something really dangerous happening to us out there. We're slowly getting split up into two different Americas. Things are getting taken away from people that need them and given to people that don't need them, and there's a promise getting broken. In the beginning, the idea was that we all live here a little bit like a family, where the strong can help the weak ones, the rich can help the poor ones. I don't think the American dream was that everybody was going to make it or that everybody was going to make a billion dollars. But it was that everybody was going to have an opportunity and the chance to live a life with some decency and some dignity and a chance for some self respect."

That was Bruce Springsteen, speaking from a stage in Pittsburgh in 1984. Not much has changed. Things got better and then got worse.

Here's a New York Times discussion about how people think (or don't) about the wealth disparity. I find the comments particularly interesting. People get so self-righteous about the working poor.

To me, you don't have to be a bleeding heart to think it's bad that so few people hold so much of the nation's money (and its power and influence and likely an out-sized proportion of its diamond-encrusted tweezers). I mean, doesn't it make sense that a better distribution of wealth would make rich people's fortunes more secure? Poverty and a growing animus toward the filthy rich creates crime, violence and some really horrible television shows. A more equitable society is a more stable society. People with more money have more to lose. Maybe they should pay more for that security? For the same reason it costs more to insure a $1 million house than one worth $50,000.

So how about it, all you shrugging Atlases. Maybe if you see yourself as part of the solution for a better functioning society, you can rest a little easier knowing a spiteful stable boy won't try to jam a Waterford candlestick up your Brazilian Sport Horse's ass.