Friday, April 29, 2011

Smells Like Spleen Spirit

Reading through the columns at American Thinker is much like going on a vision quest, except the immaterial animal which serves as your spirit guide isn't a bison or an eagle, it's more likely a moose in Hammer pants, or a large, velveteen chicken.  So if you're out of peyote, the average Robin of Berkeley column will do in a pinch.

But for those just looking to cop a quick buzz from a one-hitter, AT also maintains a blog, and today Richard Butrick (who I think might be this guy) brings the butthurt to Obama.
Trump Smells a Rat. Williams Smells a Racist
Juan Williams says that it is hard not to see a pattern in the questions Trump raises about Obama. Juan characterizes the issues raised by Trump as showing that Trump thinks the president is not smart enough to write his own book, he is not smart enough to get into Harvard, and he spends his time playing basketball. "The pattern sure looks racial, smells racial, and invites Whoopi to call a spade a spade."
Trump may be trafficking in racist stereotypes (dumb, lazy, plays hoops too much, did poorly in school, every accomplishment the result of affirmative action, or secretly the work of a white man), but they're not racist stereotypes of African-Americans, because Trump didn't even mention the President's enormous schwanzstucker. So if we follow a process of inductive reasoning -- as I'm sure Professor Butrick would approve -- we arrive at the conclusion that Donald Trump has an unreasoning hatred of Slovenians.
Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Let us presume that Obama were white and that Juan had serious doubts about his character and policies. Let us say that he further thought that if Obama won a second term that it would be injurious to America economically, politically and socially. Would he go after his character? If he thought that there was some doubt about the legality of his candidacy, would he bring that up and make an issue of it? If he thought that there was something fishy about his getting into Columbia and Harvard with poor grades at Occidental, would he bring that up? Would he at least demand that Obama make his records public like every other candidate? Would that make Juan a racist?
It would depend if the candidate was Slovenian. Now, I have a great relationship with the Slovenians. I've always had a great relationship with the Slovenians. But have you ever had to sit next to one on the bus? They smell like acetate, I imagine, because they all work at the Kodak plant in Rochester, NY (admittedly, everything I know about Slovenians I learned from Mary Grabar columns).

I guess it would also depend if Juan (May I call him "Juan"? Dick gets to) had evidence for these suspicions, or if they were simply collected from moist, dark places on the internet, and amplified through Donald Trump's gob.
The point is that most "birthers", who think that Obama is a slick talking crypto-Marxist with a distain for America, would go after Obama if he were white.
Ha! It's like that moment when the teacher catches you chewing gum in class; but instead of taking that long, humiliating walk to the front of the room to spit it out her waste basket, the Birthers confound their detractors by declaring that yes, as a matter of fact they did bring enough hate for everybody. 
Now maybe Obama is a pragmatist and a sincere champion of America as a force for good in the world and the birthers are all wrong. That makes them wrong. It doesn't make them racist. And it doesn't make Trump a racist. Trump smells a rat.
I always wondered what that thing on his head smells like.
Trump has dealt with a lot of duplicitous sneaks in the business world and he smells a rat. Ok. He just smells something fishy.
The great thing about going deep sea fishing for rats, is you can save on anchovies or nightcrawlers and just bait your hook with garbage.
On the other hand if following one's suspicions and trying to find out what is going on behind Obama's sealed records to get the measure of the man makes one a racist - if being skeptical and deciding dig deeper into an issue to avoid being blindsided is racist - then fine, being a racist is a compliment.
You're welcome. Just don't let it go to your head. Your fishy, rat-smelling head.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Galt's Gulch Repossesed by Bank

This is bad news for those of us who were hoping Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 would garner sufficiently robust box office that the producers would keep their series going until the promised Atlas Shrugged Part 3: The Musical, if only because the plan calls for Dagny Taggart to replace John Galt and his 70 page speech by putting on a slinky gold lamé gown and belting out Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher."

Alas, it seems impossible now, at least, according to Rupert Murdoch's New York Post:
After a middling performance during its opening weekend that was hyped in some quarters (i.e., The Hollywood Reporter), the per-screen average for this amateurish Ayn Rand adaptation (even Kyle could only muster 2.5 stars' worth of enthusiam for the movie, though he liked its message) plunged to an alarming $1,890 from $5,640 during its opening frame. Overall, the weekend's take was a scant $879,000 -- a whopping 48 percent drop despite adding 166 locations. Which certainly suggest they're running out of audience quick.

That means that at some locations, distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures will be writing checks to theaters to cover the difference between receipts and operating expenses. The only way they're likely to get the 1,000 screens the producers say they want next weekend is to rent them. 
Remember when you -- yes, you, Mr. Lib-Soc -- remember when you scoffed at the very idea of this film, and sneered that you wouldn't see it even if the producers paid you?  Well, I'm afraid the tensile strength of your moral fiber is about to be tested.

And if you do succumb to the blandishments of their lucre, pause for a brief moment while salting your popcorn, and shake a few stinging grains into the open wounds of Society's (and more specifically, this movie's) Producers.
Surely rubbing salt in the producers' wounds is the performance of Robert Redford's left-leaning "The Conspirator,'' which also added screens in its second weekend and managed a decent hold and a $2,696 per location average. Its current cumulative gross is $6.9 million vs. a hair over $3 million for "Atlas Shrugged.''
 Given the quality of liberal icon who's beating them, a little salt in the wounds hardly describes it.  These tyro moviemakers are in serious danger of being jerkied, or turning into Lot's Wife.

Meanwhile, another Post movie critic prophesies that:
The movie looks like it’s going to have trouble topping $5 million in box office. The cost was somewhere in the $10 to $20 million range plus prints and advertising. Like I said, it’s not a hit. Whether the sequels get made is purely a matter of how much desire the producers have for losing money.
Right now the characters seem less like powerful tycoons, innovators, visionaries, and natural leaders of men, whose very blood runs the mighty engines of business (although we probably should have switched to Unleaded years ago) and more like out-of-work TV actors being funded, bailed out, and pumped up by failed reality show TV stars from Congress and the world of Commerce.  And like the banks during the end days of the Bush Administration, they are in desperate need of an infusion of cash, however charitable.  This would seem to contradict the message of Objectivism, and I can no longer tell if Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is supposed to be a genuine adaptation of Rand's book, or if it was actually intended as a meta commentary on the book's unfilmability and general suckiness, like The Orchid Thief sections in Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation, a film documenting his failure to adapt a book to a film.

But even though I probably won't pay to see the Atlas Shrugs, waiting till it makes its way to Netfix, I think it deserves to be seen -- or at least evaluated as possible fodder for the sequel to Better Living Through Bad Movies.  Because the question is bigger than the weekly box office totals.  Can Objectivist philosophy, embodied on page and screen, overturn the current social and political order, driven only by the power of one, small, unpleasant, somewhat kinky and nicotine-stained woman's ideas, and the inexhaustible energy of a static electricity-fueled perpetual moment machine that defies all known laws of physics, and which only requires followers who have enough faith to wear heavy woolen socks and scuff their feet on the shag carpet all day?

Maybe they can enter into a co-production with the guys who own the rights to Buckaroo Banzai, and finish that trilogy at the same time, perhaps by sharing sets, one show filming during the day and the other at night, the same way Universal made a Spanish language Dracula concurrent with the Lugosi version.  I'm open to suggestions.

Update:  As Jim informs us, the Producer (in every sense of the word) of Atlas Shrugged, has been leeched, looted, and mooched beyond superhuman endurance, and is now threatening to go Galt from his own franchise.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter, Everyone!

This holiday is confusing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Irving Berlin's Easter Tirade

I've mentioned my friends Mike & Ike (not the candy, although they're just as frequently seen in movie theaters) a few times in the past, but for those who are joining the program already in progress, they're a couple of pop culture critics who write, produce, and perform some very funny video reviews.  Their latest opus studies the link between Frankenstein (1910), and Sex Kittens Go To College (1960), and I highly recommend that you click below to be illuminated by their critical acumen, and mildly disturbed by the horniest robot since Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man:

The Mike and Ike Show: Sex Kittens Meet Edison's Frankenstein

Welcome back.  Mike and Ike are also devotees of the theater, widely recognized as the Midwest's leading experts on Evil Dead: The Musical, and earlier tonight Ike published a piece on Facebook about a new production of Terrance McNally's Corpus Christi.  I remember the brouhaha which attended the debut of this play at the Manhattan Theater Club in 1998; anti-Semitic slander, threats of arson and murder, and protestors worked into a tizzy by the Catholic League nearly shut the production down -- even in New York, on the eve of the Millennium -- a sign that, like the poor, William Donohue we will always have with us. 

And now somebody's doing it in Akron. Ohio.  In a church.
I asked Ike (he's the one on the left) if I could reprint his post on World O' Crap, and he very kindly gave his permission.

A Letter to Any and All Protesters (Past, Present, and Future) of the play Corpus Christi

So Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Herne, and Tiamat all walk inta a bar...

Okay, now that I got your attention, howdy!  Ya don't know me, and if ya did most a ya probably wouldn't want ta, and I'm fine with that.  Love everybody, that's what Jesus taught, right?  I know he didn't want people killin' for him, but that's a debate for another day.

So let's talk the "gay Jesus" play.  Ever since the show premiered, the writer's gotten death threats, the-aters that have done it have gotten bomb threats (Now THAT'S Christ like) and, of course, there've been picketers.  Now I ain't sayin' ya don't have a right ta picket (Cause ya do) but it would be nice if ya actually knew somethin' about what ya were protestin'.

True story:  Many years ago the limey was doin' some work for Interpol and I was wastin' time doin' a little actin'.  I got cast in a production a Corpus Christie.  We had ta move to a different the-ater the week we opened, and we got picketed, but here's a funny thing.  We had folks (Gay and straight) comin' up ta us afterwards with tears in their eyes, sayin' they felt closer ta God. We even had one a the protesters come see the show the last night and they LOVED it.

Far as I'm concerned, that ends any and all debate about the show right there.

But there's a new production a the show bein' done this week-end, from a kinda new company called Heads Up Productions, and it's bein' done at a church.  Now there are SOME people who apparently don't have an issue with the play, but they have an issue with the timin'.  I'll get ta that in a minute.

Here are a couple a things ya should know before ya protest the show:

1.  Jesus does NOT have sex with any of the disciples on stage.  I've seen this said several times when folks rag on the show and THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN.  If ya been told it does, you're bein' lied to.

2.  The play is NOT SET in Biblical times.   It's set in modern day Texas (There's a really good joke there, but I ain't doin' it).  In fact, the show starts with the actors gettin' their roles.  It is not meant ta be the definitive version of this story.  It is meant ta be one of many, and there have been many, and several of them have sucked...just sayin'.

3.  The show is indeed a bit vulgar, but it is in NO WAY sacrilegious.  If it was, all of the deeply religious folks who saw the production I was in wouldn't have walked out (at the end) cryin' and feelin' closer ta God...end of argument.

This production, directed by Benjamin Rexroad, does one major thing differently from the one I was in.  He cast women in the roles of Joshua (Jesus) and Judas, played by Amy Spencer and Kim Woodworth respectively and both of these women give Oscar winnin' performances as men. Amy gives the most realistic performance of Jesus (Joshua) that I have ever seen PERIOD, and by that I mean that at the end you're not cryin' cause ya just watched the Son of God die for our sins, you're cryin' because ya just watched a warm, carin' person that you genuinely care about REALIZE that he is the Son of God and WILLINGLY die for our sins.  Her scenes with Woodworth are a joy to watch.  In fact, the entire cast is first rate, but I gotta give a special shout out ta TJ Jozsa, who played the amazin'ly creepy guy in our horror short Skeletons.  His turn as a high school girl is absolutely hysterical.

And ya know what?  Far as I'm concerned, this show, usin' few props and no special effects, is ten times more powerful than the torture porn that was Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ cause this isn't just about his death, it's about his LIFE!  Ya see the joy that Joshua (Jesus) brought ta his followers, ya FEEL it (And that is in no small part due to Spencer's portrayal), and that makes his end a million times more painful ta watch.

All I'm sayin' is this, protesters, know what you're picketin' and do it for the right reasons.  Do what the brave soul did at the show I was in...see it.  If it offends ya, then protest away (It's your God given right, after all) but ya just might see somethin' that genuinely moves ya, that brings ya closer ta God, like it did for the audiences of my show and the audience I saw it with tonight.  I have never been emotionally moved by a play before (Heck, I rarely get emotionally moved by anythin') and this show did it.  I felt a little closer ta God tonight, and I think he's fine with that.

And ta those people who think this is the wrong time ta do the show, I respectfully put forth that this is the perfect time ta do the show, for what is this time but a chance for all of us to feel closer ta God.
And ya can disagree with me, and I'm fine with that.

Jesus would be, too.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Theocratic of York, Medieval Barber

In retrospect it seems a bit unfair to scrutinize J. Matt "Bam Bam" Barber's first foray into film criticism, without giving equal time to the work for which he's best known: fantasizing in print and on the airwaves about what goes on in the bedrooms of elderly gay men.
If the judge ain't straight, you must vacate
Proposition 8 is an amendment to California's State Constitution. It was passed by a comfortable margin via ballot initiative in 2008.
Well, it passed by less than 5%, but if Bam Bam, Maggie Gallagher, and the other Hall Monitors of Marriage were so comfortable with the margin, you'd think they'd be a little less hysterical and prone to fibs.  But I suppose it's possible that they are supremely confident that their bigotry enjoys majority support, and all the lying is purely recreational.
Prop 8 maintained the age-old definition of marriage in the Golden State as requiring binary male-female compatibility.
"God sees men and women as a series of ones and zeroes..."  And by the way, I could have gone the rest of my life without discovering that Matt is binary-curious.
It remains tied-up in Federal Court today.
Studies show that courts which allow Japanese rope bondage during closing arguments see a 37% increase in jurors responding to summons.
Back in February of 2010 it became rumored that retired Federal Judge Vaughn Walker — who presided over the case at the District level — was a practitioner of the homosexual lifestyle. 
"[I]t became rumored" -- wow, that's some aggressive passivity.  It also became imagined that Judge Walker practiced homosexuality 90 minutes a day -- usually with a personal trainer, although occasionally he would practice the lifestyle freestyle -- five to six days a week, which explains why fellow practitioners call him the "Tiger Woods of the Homosex Senior Tour."
It was further reported that he had a longtime male lover. Judge Walker refused to confirm or deny the rumors. At the time I was one of the few people to publicly call for his recusal. It's inexplicable that attorneys defending Prop 8 didn't make such a motion.
Well, if it makes you feel any better, Matt, I'm making a motion at you right now.  Can you guess which one?
With Judge Walker's recent admission that he does in fact practice homosexuality, the case for recusal has been proven. His ruling on the Prop 8 case should be immediately vacated as he possessed both an incontrovertible and disqualifying conflict of interest.
Exactly!  How could a gay man be truly impartial on the question of whether homosexuals deserve civil rights?  The only way the anti-marriage equality forces could receive of a fair and unbiased hearing is if there was a bigot on the bench.  We should also take this opportunity to revisit Brown v. Board of Education, and consider whether Earl Warren might actually have been a octaroon who was passing.
Federal law is clear. The code of judicial conduct requires that a judge step down from a case if "the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned," or when he "has a financial ... or any other interest that could be affected substantially by the outcome of the proceeding."
Actually, Bam Bam, you've got a financial interest in the outcome of this case as well, seeing as how you've built your career out of being the biggest homophobe in the steam room.  But I see your point.  The problem is, we can't allow any human beings to sit in judgment of human rights -- the conflict of interest is simply too severe -- so we're going to have to turn this case over to another intelligent species.  Maybe we can get that orangutan from Every Which Way But Lose; it became innuendoed that after his movie career fizzled he went back to school and got a degree from Liberty University School of Law.
By manufacturing from thin air a Constitutional "right" to same-sex "marriage" — something the Framers of the US Constitution could not have conceptualized, much less endorsed —
Many of them owned slaves, Matt, and a whole lot of them endorsed the peculiar institution, so it seems obvious their their ability conceptualize "rights," was rather limited.  Hell, most of what we live with nowadays they couldn't imagine, which is why they only supplied the Frame, and it's up to the rest of us to fill in the canvas.
Judge Walker abused his position on the bench to create for himself a new privilege that he previously did not possess. It's undeniable that he had an "interest that could be affected substantially by the outcome of the proceeding."
So if Thurgood Marshall had been sitting on the Supreme Court, rather than arguing before it in 1954, should he have recused himself from Brown?   After all, it created "a new privilege that he previously did not posses," i.e., the ability to buy a tuna fish sandwich south of the Mason Dixon Line.
Stemming from his own bizarre and contrived legal findings in the case, Judge Walker's ruling made it possible for both he and his male sexual partner to "marry."
Well, Pat Robertson's* Regent University made it possible for Bam Bam to "graduate" from a "school," and get a "diploma," so it's not like he's opposed to fraudulent institutions per se.  Besides, allowing gays to marry will finally eliminate that awkward dilemma one encounters when meeting a retired jurist: how to address his longtime companion?   (Boyfriend?  Gentleman Caller?  No, wait, wait -- I've got it!  "How do you do, Judge?  I'm so pleased to meet you and your sex partner.")  Of course, this formulation might be considered a trifle presumptuous, if only because the couple in question comprises two older men, and there's no way to tell if both their prostates are working.

Anyway, there's no indication that Judge Walker, who has been in a relationship with a male doctor for the last ten years, wants or intends to wed, but I understand that Matt is married, so the next time he  makes it to L.A., I hope he'll drop by and introduce me to his lovely Not Tonight Bam Bam I've Got a Headache Partner.
Prior to his ruling he could not. Subsequent to his ruling — and if the ruling is upheld — he could. This is not opinion. It's an objective matter of fact. Judge Walker unilaterally and arbitrarily gave himself a newfangled "right."
Perhaps, before they were allowed to rule on Loving v. Virginia, we should have examined the justices for symptoms of Jungle Fever.  Or postponed the Griswold decision until we'd checked their wallets for condoms.
No reasonable person can deny that Judge Walker held a "personal bias" as his decision directly affected him on a very personal level.
It also affected me on a personal level, since I don't like living in a state that treats LGBT people as second class citizens.  So who would have made a better judge, Matt -- you?  Who seems more reasonable, a man who won't talk about his own sexuality, or a man who can't stop talking about someone else's?
A few proponents of so-called "gay marriage" have slapped me in the face with the following red herring: "Why, using your logic a heterosexual judge would also have to recuse himself. No judge could ever preside over a case involving same-sex 'marriage.'"

This is apples-to-oranges nonsense. On a case concerning the novel question of radically redefining marriage to include same-sex pairs, a heterosexual judge, by definition, would not possess a personal "interest that could be affected substantially by the outcome of the proceeding." A heterosexual judge is precisely what Federal law requires under such circumstances.
So again, would you have barred African-American judges from hearing segregation cases, or female judges from ruling on abortion rights?  Are you going to ask Justice Sotomayor to leave the room if someone argues an immigration case?

But there's a practical issue, too.  Walker "never [took] pains to disguise—or advertise—his [sexual] orientation," but what happens with a more reticent magistrate?  Perhaps, before assigning a case involving gay rights, the Court could force all prospects to wrestle the bailiff nude.  First judge to get a half-chub on would be disqualified.

*fixed, per Gale.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Post-Friday Beast Blogging: The "Snuggling or Smothering?" Edition

Riley:  Wait a second...!  Are you using my back fat as a sleep mask...?
Moondoggie:  (Muffled)  Um...No?

Friday, April 15, 2011

In the Balcony with Bam-Bam

You may remember J. Matt "Bam-Bam" Barber, the former boxer cum insurance salesman who got canned by Allstate for obsessing about gay people on company time.

Prior to his dismissal, Bam-Bam had only been an amateur victim of buttsecks, but thanks to the outrage churned up on his behalf by various wingnut websites -- and no small amount of whining on Matt's part -- he was able to turn pro.  Riding the manly wave of his anti-homo notoriety, he became a Concerned Woman for America, rising or sinking to the position of "Policy Director for Cultural Issues."  Apparently Bam-Bam worried the Concerned Women, and the job didn't last, but eventually the lovable palooka left behind his habit of using homophobia to attract attention and vaguely titled sinecures, and turned his life around by taking the position of Director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel, where he now obsesses about buttsecks.

This week Bam-Bam diversifies his portfolio even further, by following the likes of Ben Shapiro and Pastor Swank into the field of Christian film criticism.  Just to clarify, I don't mean Matt is critiquing film from a Christian perspective, I mean he's criticizing the existence of films that don't involve Christians; and more specifically, films which fail to depict Jesus on a Schwinn.
The Potential Inside: Not Your Father's Christian Film

In the age of gratuitous Hollywood sex and violence it’s not surprising that people are starved for family-friendly entertainment. This is not just a matter of opinion. Movieguide, the world’s premier pro-family movie magazine, has established over and again with its annual Report to the Entertainment Industry that wholesome entertainment sells… big time.
Well, a Report to the Entertainment Industry certainly sounds authoritative, leading one to expect an exhaustive, scientific study full of graphs and tables, polls and statistics.   Actually, it's a wannabe Oscars -- something like the  Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) Annual Belty™Award, or the AVN "Best Anal-Themed Ethnic Series" -- but it does succeed in proving that family-friendly films are popular, by giving awards to popular family friendly films.
The report has determined, through painstaking research and statistical analysis, that movies with “high Christian, moral, biblical, theological, spiritual, production, aesthetic, and entertainment principles, values, and standards do much better than those movies consistently violating those principles, values, and standards.”
Undoubtedly.  Let's take a look at a list of the top grossing films, and revel in the high Christian principles, values, and standards.

1.  Avatar.  The most popular film in history features humans getting their asses kicked by devil-tailed aliens who worship a tree.  And not even a Christmas tree.  But it made a lot of money, so I'm sure its celebration of spirituality and nature -- not to mention its rather Christian rejection of cupidity -- was embraced by Movieguide:
Capitalism, Christianity and AVATAR
The danger to moviegoers is that AVATAR presents the Na'vi culture on Pandora as morally superior to life on earth.
If you love the philosophy and culture of the Na'vi too much, you will be led into evil rather than away from it. [...]
The problem with life on earth is not Capitalism it is the wickedness of human nature. The cure for this is not found in hugging a tree. [...]
Movies are fiction...If you want the truth, read the Bible.
Okay, so maybe this was the one time when a movie did much better by consistently violating those principles, and standards, but there's always that exception which proves the rule.  Let's quickly run through the top ten highest grossing films and see how they conform to Bam-Bam's thesis.

2.  Titanic.  More bad capitalists, although this time their homicides are mostly negligent.  Tits.  Premarital sex.  Suicide.

3.  The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King.  Magic.  Murder.  Elves, Orcs, and ghosts.

4.  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.  Pirates.  Pagan goddess.  Immortal cephalopod-faced dude who keeps his heart in a beer cooler.  Cannibalism, reincarnation, public drunkenness, Voodoo, magical objects, and mythical sea monsters.

5.  Toy Story 3.  19th Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry "Best Movie for Families" Award Winner!  'Nuff said!  Also treachery, lies, conspiracy, attempted toy-on-toy murder and immolation, and crucifixion of a teddy bear.

6.  Alice in Wonderland.  Drugs.  Anthropomorphic animals.  More drugs.  Magical transformations.  Anthropomorphic animals on drugs.  Flagrant use of a Bandersnatch.  Violent death.  Blood play.

7.  The Dark Knight.  Murder.  Terrorism.  Disfigurement.  Transvestism.  Child menacing.  Arson.  Torture.  Excessive cosplay.

8.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  Do we even need to bother?  Magic.  Black magic.  Murder.  Attempted murder of a child.  Ghosts.  Mythical beasts.  Two men cohabiting in a turban.

9.  Pirates of the Caribbean:  At World's End.  Ibid.

10.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.  More of the same, with the addition of elves, grave desecration, torture, terrorism, inter-species murder, the possession of a dead body by a serpent, and co-ed camping without benefit of clergy.

And it pretty much goes on like that, with the next ten films being mostly fantasy or science fiction.  The Passion of the Christ, the movie culture warriors inevitably bring up when claiming there's a vast, underserved, dogma-hungry audience in America, doesn't even crack the Top 50.  

Matt blames the failure of most Christian films on low budgets and inexperienced casts and crews, but apparently all that has changed with The Potential Inside...
Honestly, my expectations were rather low. Suffice it to say – and I’m thrilled to report – that after watching the film, those low expectations were not only exceeded, they were summarily dashed.
I know how he feels; the only thing I like better than exceeding my expectations is dashing them!  Preferably on a jagged rock!
The movie’s Web site (www.thepotentialinside.com) summarizes the film as a “riveting action packed drama that takes you inside the never before seen world of Elite Bicycle Racing. Filled with spectacular race scenes through some of the most treacherous courses on the East Coast of the United States THE POTENTIAL INSIDE (emphasis original) is a powerfully moving and compelling drama that examines the heart and soul of a true champion.”

The synopsis continues: “Reeling with grief in the wake of a tragic automobile accident, retired veteran cyclist, Chris Carmik, is given an opportunity he doesn't want, to train a rookie cycling prodigy. Preoccupied with battling his own inner demons, Chris reluctantly acclimates the prodigy, named Jake, to the fast paced world of Bicycle Racing.

“Using cutting edge technology and scientific training methods, Chris transforms Jake into a top contending cyclist; however, he struggles to teach Jake the most important lesson prominent in all champions - finding THE POTENTIAL INSIDE.”
Jesus H. Christ on a bicycle!  it's literally Jesus H. Christ on a bicycle!
Next, the acting: It was good – really good. I found myself immediately identifying with the film’s very believable characters. Whereas Christian films I’d seen in the past seemed to force dialogue and follow predictable formulas of character development, “The Potential Inside” featured very real people experiencing very real emotions and circumstances.
Like a lot of you, I've been waiting years for Hollywood to make a movie reflecting the very real emotions of the very real retired veteran cyclists and velocipedist prodigies one frequently runs into at the grocery store.  These are often the sorts of very real encounters you wish a movie camera was present to record, especially when the retired veteran cyclist is reeling around the aisle with grief, and making it difficult to maneuver your cart past the bulky point-of-purchase display for Dinty Moore® Microwaveable Cups.
Finally, the story: I was immediately sucked-in. It’s rich with adrenaline-laced sports action for the fellows, coupled with a deeply inspiring and moving base-plot for the entire viewing audience. (Warning: bring your tissue. You too, guys. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.)
As anyone who works in the film industry will tell you, it's not easy moving a base-plot, at least not without a house jack.  (Fun bit of trivia:  While writing North By Northwest, Ernest Lehman tried to get by with just a 6x6 screw jack for the third act twist, but Hitchcock went into a towering rage, and insisted he use a joist holder.  Years later, they laughed about it.)
“The Potential Inside” has the stuff. It’s what Americans have been clamoring for: Wholesome, pro-family entertainment combined with the high-tech, quality production value we’ve come to expect from A-list motion pictures.
Assuming that Americans have been putting their money where their mouth is up till now, the stuff they've mostly been clamoring for are naked breasts, mass murderers, magical rings, heathen gods, vigilantes, wizards, witches, terrorized toys and tree-huggin' blue furries.  But I'm sure their abrupt conversion to wholesome pro-family entertainment is sincere.
Most importantly, though, it has the real stuff – the stuff today’s postmodern box office sorely lacks: Transcendent truth; the love of Christ; and a roadmap down the narrow path to eternal redemption and salvation.
And Americans not only want to see the narrow path to eternal redemption and salvation, they want to see people ride bikes down it.

Stuff just got real.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ellis Washington Shares His Personal Fantasies

Ellis Washington is a man who has kept his resume remarkably lean, even ascetic, down through the years, forcing his career to live out of a single, spare, uncluttered paragraph that would leave the crew of Hoarders twiddling their thumbs.

Unlike the many restless souls who keep taking on new jobs and challenges and must continually update their CVs, Ellis is no stuck-up, fair weather worker.  He remains loyal to his earliest and most humble achievements, continually giving them pride of place; and if, on occasion, he does succumb to the temptation to trumpet something he's done in the 21st century (like briefly working as a part-time instructor at an obscure junior college, or writing that "authorized biography" of Michael Savage that apparently lost a bit of momentum once Michael Savage learned about it), he immediately regrets the infidelity and goes crawling back to his first loves: ex-law clerk at a wingnut think tank, and one time staffer at the Michigan Law Review, where -- his style suggests -- he edited the Personal ads.  ("Saw you in talk radio studio.  Me: holding autograph book and simpering.  You: telling caller to 'get AIDS and die.'  Our eyes met.  You were Prometheus and I was Fire...")

But there is one more recent accomplishment of which he remains proud:
He hosts a radio program Thursdays at 10 a.m. Eastern on 1620 AM in Atlanta. It can be heard online at the Radio Sandy Springs website.
Sandy Springs bills itself as "America's Web Radio," so it's not really a "radio" program, and judging by the episodes I listened to, Ellis doesn't actually host a show so much as he calls in to another guy's internet gabfest and reads off a list of grievances in the manner of an insane bomber delivering his manifesto to the one reporter in the city he can trust to really get it, man!

Anyway, he thinks Cass Sunstein is going to murder the Constitution and make himself King of Scotland, before recording a series of chart-topping hits with the Mommas and the Papas, and then choking to death on a sandwich.
Cass Sunstein and his Lady Macbeth
There is no liberty without dependency. ~ Cass Sunstein, regulatory czar
With fanatical zeal that would impress demigods like Darwin, Nietzsche, Justice O.W. Holmes, Trotsky and Hitler, American Progressivism has for over 130 years aggressively dismantled, brick by brick, every aspect of our fundamental natural rights founded under God, natural law and the original intent of the constitutional framers.
It's hard to believe God is getting beaten by demi-gods.  It almost makes you think he took a bribe to throw the fight.

Anyway, what the hell do all these people have in common?  Well, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Trotsky and Hitler were, of course, the original Mod Squad, with Darwin as their no-nonsense superior.  But the network wanted to go with the tagline "One White, One Black, One Blonde" after the previous slogan "One Handlebar, One Goatee, One Chaplin Half-Stache" failed to resonate with the hippies the way they hoped it would, and the characters were replaced by Pete, Linc, and Julie, with Nietzsche as the gruff but caring Captain Greer.
A major part of this strategy is for utopian socialists to regulate our constitutional rights into oblivion and make us all slaves to the omnipotent socialist State ruled by a small oligarchy of overseers. President Obama's handpicked Cesare Mori is regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, whose fascist motto is: There is no liberty without dependency.
I always thought Sunstein's bailiwick, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs was just a department of the OMB tasked with reviewing draft regulations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, but apparently their real purpose is to wipe out the Mafia in Sicily.
To give you an idea of the utter diabolical ideas of this Marxist academic, look at his 2008 book "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness," where Sunstein and co-author Richard H. Thaler argued to expand the current organ-donor policy – that unless a patient has explicitly chosen to be an organ donor, either on his driver's license or with a donor card, the doctors assume that the person did not want to donate and therefore do not harvest his organs. Thaler and Sunstein want to reinterpret this as "explicit consent."
In America, if a corpse doesn't have the liberty to be buried in peace without legions of ghoulish, body-snatching bureaucrats stealing grandma's liver, kidneys or eyeballs, then what freedom and constitutional rights do you think those of us who are alive will enjoy? … None! 
First they came for grandma's kidneys, and I said nothing, because she was dead, and it hadn't yet occurred to me I could have harvested them myself and sold them at wholesale prices to Thomas Sowell.
Sunstein wrote a blog entry...in which he explained he "will be urging that it is important to resist, on democratic grounds, the idea that the [Constitution] should be interpreted to reflect the view of the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party." The tyrannous effect of Sunstein's coup d'état will be to remake the U.S. Constitution into a socialist communist document without having to fire one bullet, or get one vote in Congress.
This week on Manifesto Makeovers, celebrity stylist Cass Sunstein takes on the dowdy U.S. Constitution.  "You're a glorious, glamorous diva just waiting to happen," he tells it.  "All you need is a little putsch."
In his 2005 book, "The Second Bill of Rights," Sunstein outlines the diabolical parameters of this new communist bill of rights:
  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return that will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment;
  • The right to a good education.
Sunstein's contemptible communist propaganda isn't new. Remember that in 1944, Democrat-socialist President Franklin Roosevelt proposed a Second Bill of Rights. Sunstein apparently plagiarized many of his ideas from FDR and the 1977 Soviet Constitution.
Someday someone will explain to former law-clerk Washington the difference between plagiarism and quotation.  The list above isn't a pilfering paraphrase; it's taken directly from Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights, and is unlikely to have been foisted on the reader as Sunstein's own ideas, since he titled his book The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution--And Why We Need It More Than Ever.

It is interesting to note, however, that President Roosevelt was able to time travel to the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union in order to boost ideas for his 1944 State of the Union Address -- although it's possible that it wasn't a premeditated theft.  Maybe something went wrong with the Philadelphia Experiment and FDR unexpectedly found himself sitting in his wheelchair in the middle of Red Square and figured he might as well just grab that day's copy of Pravda for a souvenir.
Let me be clear, professor Sunstein is one of the most despicable academics I've ever studied who is still alive.
"There are some dead ones whose guts I would have hated, but they were organ donors, so I never got the chance."
What is most reprehensible about Czar Sunstein and the 36-plus books he has written...
...is that people actually read his books, and critics don't spend their entire reviews complaining about typos and bad grammar.
...is that not only does he demonstrates an utter contempt for our Constitution, but he also takes absolute delight in using that same Constitution the framers designed to protect us from traitors of his ilk to destroy the capitalist free market and natural law that made this country exceptional above all others.
I could tolerate the treason if they ilk kept a straight face about it, but I just can't stand it when ilk take delight.  Anyway, I guess the lesson here is that an "extreme right wing" interpretation of the Constitution is like raw milk -- more authentic, and it probably toughens your immune system the way open sewers used to habituate children to the polio virus, thus making access to health care irrelevant -- but people are weak these days, and refuse to opt out of forced pasteurization by Socialist Big Cow.
But for the national lobotomy this great country has apparently suffered after 160 years of state propaganda most people know as our public school system, a scoundrel like Sunstein (and his Lady Macbeth wife) would be immediately fired, placed in the stocks in the public square and have rotten fruit and dead animals thrown at his face like in Medieval times … but this is only a personal fantasy.
It's not every blog that gives you a naked glimpse into Ellis Washington's personal fantasies, so if you're ever tempted to ask what I've done for you lately, here's the creme de la creme of his porn collection: Woman with Bound Feet in Ménage à trois with Rodeo Clown and Mr. Peanut Impersonator.

I wasn't there, of course, when the this particular image arrived in a plain brown wrapper, but I bet he threw a lot of spoiled cucumbers and dead chickens that night.
America, please don't allow Soros, Sunstein and Obama to kill the U.S. Constitution through either rewriting it or regulating our sacred constitutional rights into oblivion.
Only let them kill the U.S. Constitution by rewiring it or regurgitating it.  Make 'em work for it, America.
Send letters to your congressional representatives and demand that all Republicans refuse to pass a hike in the debt limit and force a government shutdown. This strategy will compel Democratic socialists and RINOs alike to make draconian spending cuts, including defunding entire departments of the federal government, like Education, Commerce, the EPA and most regulatory agencies that are duplicative and fascist.
Actually, since the regulation of interstate commerce is a power explicitly granted the government by the Constitution, I figured Commerce -- along with DoD -- would be one of the few departments people like Ellis would tolerate.  But in its natural state of grace, commerce doesn't want to be regulated, it wants to be like the title character of Free Bird, so I suppose this is one of those times when a patriot's duty requires that he hold the Constitution down while Natural Law whales on it with a sweatsock full of nickles. Because this bird you cannot change.
And let us collectively stab through the heart Sunstein's treachery that "there is no liberty without dependency."
Actually, that's a misquote.  Sunstein was talking about hysterical right wing fantasists who see kidney thieves and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse lurking behind every USDA poultry inspector and who can never leave the house because they're constantly shitting themselves.  The full quote is "[for such people] there is no liberty without Depends."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rosemary's Baby of Berkeley

Although both Roy and Sadly, No! have spread the word, I like to think that WO'C has done more than its share to introduce Robin of Berkeley to the larger, if less wacky world outside her head.  Certainly, Jay B. holds us responsible for the death of his innocence.  "I blame you that I know of this woman's existence," he writes.  "But it's more fascinating than upsetting."

Frankly, I think Jay is being overly lenient with us, which only encourages the sort of recidivism to which bloggers like us are statistically prone.  But he did manage a measure of revenge by making us read Robin's recent plunge into film criticism:
America's Baby

I don’t like horror flicks and avoid seeing them. However, I recently made an exception and rented the 1960’s classic, Rosemary’s Baby. (Reader Alert: Movie Spoiler)
Robin doesn't actually spoil the movie, because she becomes too distracted by the set dressing and angry thoughts about Woody Allen to actually describe the plot, but I think the "Reader Alert" is a nice piece of customer service, and she should consider adding one to all her columns.
I saw the movie sometime after it came out, though I was only a teenager.  I can’t imagine how shocked I must have been.  I grew up secular, with no education about God and evil. The movie confused and horrified me.
Well, it was a horror movie.  And given that Robin is confused by most things, from facial expressions to bike lanes to the code of conduct governing the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, I'm going to have to score the match for Polanski so far.
And yet, the movie wasn’t graphic at all, not the way horror flicks are today. The 60’s was a completely different time, film-wise, before blood and gore were flung in your face — in 3 D. The horror movies back then were understated, subtle, which allowed the imagination to run wild. And, in many ways, this made the films even creepier. 
I don't want to accuse Robin of Bay Area elitism, but it seems clear she didn't spend much of the 1960s at the drive-in.
I also noticed some fascinating moments, such as when Rosemary’s husband hides the book she received on witchcraft. The camera lingers over other books on their shelves. There are two books by Kinsey, both on male sexuality. I wonder whether the writer of the film, Ira Levin, knew that Kinsey was a pervert, or whether Levin was making inferences about the danger of unfettered male sexuality.
I wonder whether he also insisted that copies of Highlights be prominently displayed in the waiting room of obstetrician Ralph Bellamy, in order to subtly remind the audience that Goofus and Gallant were originally fairies who were into three-ways and man-on-dog:

 Goofus:  "I'm thankful for my dog and Tom.  I don't like anybody else."

Or as Jay remarks:  "Who on Earth would write about Rosemary's Baby, put in a plug for 'Spoiler Alert' for a movie that's 41 years old and then focus the books on the shelves, a Time magazine from the doctor's office (Charles Grodin, if I remember correctly), both of which she credits to the SCREENWRITER (I can see it now: "Note to Roman, please put some Kinsey around the house -- just a thought, thanks, Ira")."
The movie is even more disturbing in retrospect, since we know the evil that befell some of the main players. Only a year after the film was released, Director Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, their unborn child, and several other people were victims of the most demonic mayhem and mutilation possible at the hands of Charles Manson’s “family.” How strange that Polanski made a movie about the Devil, and then endured the agony of having his wife and unborn child brutally savaged in a manner that could only have been inspired, if not engineered, by Satan himself. 
So Satan was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Tate-LaBianca murders.  It's always a little shocking the way rich, well-connected people and manifestations of supreme evil can commit heinous crimes and get away scot-free in this country.  Sort of like Florida Governor Rick Scott.  I guess the only remaining mystery here is how the Father of All Lies managed to avoid being swept into office by the Tea Party landslide of 2010.
Rosemary was played by Mia Farrow, who cohabitated with Woody Allen, a grade A slimeball himself. Farrow discovered nude pictures Allen had taken with the daughter that they were both raising, Farrow’s adopted child, Soon-Yi. 
Well, that's creepy, but not exactly a movie spoiler.
And finally, for another macabre fact about Rosemary’s Baby, it was filmed in and around the Dakota, the apartment building where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived. Tragically, Lennon was murdered right outside of the Dakota by crazed gunman, Mark David Chapman.
Actually, it was filmed outside the Dakota, since the co-op board wouldn't allow the production access to the interior.  But if your standard for "macabre" is "a building outside which somebody was killed," then good luck taking a frisson-free stroll down any given block in New York City.
Rosemary’s Baby author, Ira Levin, was inspired to write his book upon hearing about the creation of the Church of Satan. (Which I’m proud (not) to say was started in San Francisco.) Levin accurately foresaw what would happen if Satanic forces were unleashed, while “God is Dead.”
A New York Times bestseller, followed by boffo box office?
This phrase is from the infamous cover of Time Magazine, an issue that Rosemary peruses in her doctor’s office. It’s also the statement bellowed by one of Satan’s followers during the jaw-dropping, climactic ending of the film.
I think Nietzsche did some of his best work as a staff writer for Time, although I realize many people prefer his earlier, funny stuff.
While the film twists and turns in complicated ways, the message of the movie is quite simple. Without God, we are all vulnerable, not just a young woman like Rosemary, but every one of us. And not simply people, but this country and our entire world.
I thought the message of the film was, "boo!"
It’s not a coincidence that Rosemary is chosen to be violated and used in the most demonic manner imaginable. Rosemary is unsealed; she lacks the armor of God. Consequently, she is utterly unprotected.
I suppose she could have gotten MacGyvery and tried to fashion a Bible into a makeshift diaphragm.
Several decades have passed since the release of Rosemary’s Baby — and Time Magazine’s proclamation that God is Dead. Many atheists celebrate the untethering of people from the grip of God. But what have been the results? Wickedness and depravity that no one would have believed even in the l960’s.
We were so innocent then, all we wanted to do was give the World a Coke and teach it to sing in perfect harmony; perhaps do a few swing choir shows in our free moments between assassinations, war crimes, riots, and sensational serial killings.
Back then, we would have been incredulous to learn that girls would be gang raped, and their assailants would upload the footage on Facebook. Or that child and violent pornography would be available in seconds with the click of a mouse.
So back then we were blasé about evil, but flummoxed by technology.
It would have been inconceivable that female conservative politicians would be verbally raped and threatened (it didn’t happen back then) — or that people could pen rape jokes and obscenities and other vileness and then simply load it onto the computer or text or sext it.


Joel:  "Sexually provocative humor wasn't on TV, it was on cocktail napkins, and we liked it that way!"
Rosemary’s Baby was a cautionary tale of what transpires when people abandon God. When people are left to their own devices, they create a hell on earth, just like Rosemary’s next door neighbors. We don’t have to look any further than the evening news to see what has happened to America’s Baby. 
So Satan knocked up the Founding Fathers against their will?  No wonder the National Archives keep getting all those hits for "Federalist+Papers+mpreg."
But the good news is that things have gone so far south that many people are turning back to God. I hear it all the time: people returning to church, or those, like me, attending for the first time. 
And I'm sure you'll do the same thing for the church that you've done for the image of psycho-therapy.
But that doesn’t need to be the case for the rest of us, for America’s Baby. Not if we have the courage and the wisdom to wake up and seek safe shelter — the only iron-clad protection in this universe — before it’s too late.
 So the victims of the Manson Family were vulnerable to guns and knives only because they were atheists, and faith is a guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to you?  That's a novel theory of good and evil.  Or maybe Robin just means that believing in God grants you iron-clad protection against Ruth Gordon.