I'm trying to stay neutral about the ongoing "insurrection" at the Walt Disney company
, which Michael Eisner seems to be weathering just fine for now, but the more snippy, conspiratorial articles and message board threads about Michael Eisner I read, written, usually, by people whom don't know any more than I do about the specifics of the situation, the larger the gut feeling I get to side with Michael Eisner, or, at the very least, give him even more of the benefit of the doubt than I otherwise would. I think what's going on, and not just between Eisner and Roy Disney, but, also, between Eisner and Steve Jobs and, going back a few years, Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and other such conflagrations, are merely the sort of conflicts and in-fighting and faction-building and ship-jumping between people with (mega super hyper) "Type A" personalities you get at the top of any large corporation from time to time, except, perhaps, a little more theatrical because it is Hollywood, after all.
Even unpopular moves that seem fairly damning for Eisner on the surface, like closing the Florida animation studio which produced some of the more popular recent Feature Animation films for Disney like Lilo & Stitch
, and scaling back the Feature Animation division in general in favour of more live-action features and more computer-animated features, seem more damning to us because 99.9% of us only have a surface knowledge of what's going on from reading articles which are often very biased against Eisner, since Michael Eisner-bashing is (and has been since about 1984) a popular bandwagon to jump upon. The simple fact is that, while it's fun to believe that Disney is run on magic and pegasus feathers and pixie fairy dust, and, while it's easy for some guy on some message board somewhere to say that Disney needs to take greater artistic risks and not care so much about the bottom line, the fact is it's a business like any other, and, while we do get the absolute bottom line for Disney from shareholders' meetings and such every financial quarter or so, very few people have intimate knowledge of all the balance sheets with all the little facts and figures that add (and subtract) up to the end-of-quarter results, and, as such, being CEO, Michael Eisner often has to make some tough decisions, many times which will be very unpopular, both within the company itself and with animation fans in general.
Has Eisner made some bad choices over the years? In all likelihood, yes, since he's only human, but I think his micromanaging style in general is good for the company overall and, while Eisner might hold some serious grudges, the grudges work both ways. I also hope that Disney isn't out of the feature animation (industry-speak for classical, hand-drawn animation) business for good after Home on the Range
, but, the downside of Disney-style Feature Animation films is that they're bloody expensive to produce, and they've been, overall, getting diminishing returns at the box-office, and Disney can't keep on spending gobs of cash for the sake of "tradition", and, no, I do not think that it's because Disney films are creatively bankrupt and formulaic... as a matter of fact, I still think they're as good as what Ghibli and Pixar produces, just in a different way, and I think that the Disney formula, by and large, is a myth (not counting the sequels); each Disney film is quite different from one another. (Except for a couple of specific plot points, Brother Bear
was very little like The Lion King
, and, while The Lion King
is still a better film, Brother Bear
was much better than a lot of critics would have you believe.)
In this thread in the RottenTomatoes.com forum
about a JimHillMedia.com
article about Eisner supposedly deliberately wanting to sabotage Brother Bear
at the box-office to justify closing the Florida studio, Infinitus Corsair
impressively makes the moral case for Eisner being mindful of the Disney stockholders above all else, most of whom are not polishing and wacing their fleet of Ferraris with disposable hundred dollar bills.
"The primary cost that Disney is and should be concerned with is the difference between profit with the division and without. If it makes more without (investing that money in projects management project as having a better rate of return), then the decision was correct vis-a-vis Eisner's primary duty to the corporation. Concern for his work force is a secondary concern, as a matter of corporate fiduciary duty. Damage to Disney's public image, if any, should be part of the forecast - I expect it will be negligible in the public-at-large. Productivity costs would be a part of the financial analysis that motivated the decision in the first place.
Also, it's worth noting that maximizing shareholder wealth is not for the benefit of "top dogs" alone. Disney is a huge corporation, many large mutual and pension funds possess large stakes in Disney, and those funds are in turn owned by many middle and working class persons."
Also, for people whom immediately assume Roy Disney
has clear moral superiority to Michael Eisner by virtue of Disney being his family business, I think I can ask the obvious question.
"Isn't suggesting that Roy Disney knows how to run Disney better than Michael Eisner does by virtue of his family connection sort of like suggesting that Paris Hilton knows how to run Hilton better than Stephen Bollenbach does?"
Hmm... I'm trying to start over with a fresh template... I'll put the links and stuff back up in a few minutes. I'm just trying to get the direct links to articles working properly, but I'm not having any success, even with a fresh template.
MEMO TO JASON HAYES, STAN SHATENSTEIN & MIKE GAMMON:
Good work, gentlemen! Carry on then!
They are other people whom objected, as I did
, to Lise Weil's blanket statements in a letter to the Montreal Gazette
last week blaming all men for violence against women committed by a handful (relative to the total number of men) of deranged individuals.
From Saturday's Gazette
Blaming all men is outrageous
Saturday, December 13, 2003
"The notion all men are to blame for violence (Letters, Dec. 11) and ''should bear collective responsibility'' for recent acts of rape and murder is, in fact, outrageous. All readers should be offended by Weil's flimsy, specious argument. No one benefits when women are raped or in any way violated.
That's profoundly wrong. We're all diminished when women suffer abuse, and the same can be said when children or minority groups suffer the disadvantages of the weak in the face of the powerful.
It would make as much sense to blame mothers for raising their sons badly as to fault all men for the acts of criminals. Sadly, some women to have reason to live ''in a state of fear,'' but is it reasonable for all women to feel that way?
Should all men and women be constantly fearful because of the threats of terrorism and random acts of violence? Fear can always be rationalized but, fortunately, cannot routinely be justified by a reasonable assessment of risk.
We have a collective responsibility to create a healthier social climate, yes, but must also not succumb to the easy temptation to blame an entire gender - or race or social class - for the heinous wrongs perpetrated by individuals.
Guilt lies with the guilty. The rest of us need only meet the sufficiently daunting challenge of living just lives.
Then this letter:
Letter lets rapists off the hook
Saturday, December 13, 2003
"The Dec. 11 letter from Lise Weil holding all men accountable for rape illustrates a symptom of a deep malady in our society: that we are no longer personally accountable for our actions.
In point of fact, that attitude is likely to result in an increase in the crime rate, including rape, simply because criminals can now present themselves as ''victims'' of society's ills.
Holding all men, including the majority of law-abiding and decent husbands and fathers, accountable for violence against women, is likely only to reinforce the attitude of the rapist that he is himself a ''victim.''
Individual rapists (or for that matter any other criminal), should be held individually accountable for their crimes, with punishments severe enough to reinforce that point.
� Copyright 2003 Montreal Gazette
And, another blogger also noticed and objected to the gross generalization, Jason Hayes
"Men, as a whole, are no more responsible for the crime of rape than women, as a whole, are responsible for the crimes committed by Andrea Yates or Susan Smith. An individual is responsible for the choices they make and the outcomes of those choices. Individuals who take part in violent crimes against others must be individually punished for those crimes. One cannot rationally blame an entire gender, color or faith for the sins of a few."
(The entire text of Lise Weir's letter can be read on Hayes' blog, by the way... I'd link to it, but it doesn't still seem to be online.)
WHINE! WHINE! WHINE!
Oh, yes, right, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
movie is opening at midnight tonight. (Note that the posting times in this blog are Greenwich Mean Time, 5 hours ahead of actual time here in Montreal, at least during winter.) Meh... I already know what happens, and I don't want to face the crowds, so I'll probably just wait until January to see it. I'm just not a big LOTR
fan, sorry, the films are much too serious and gravitas-filled and slow-moving for my tastes, and if I saw it at midnight, I know I'm just going to fall asleep.
Anyhow, the review tally at the RottenTomatoes.com TomatoMeter is at 69 "Fresh" and 1 "Rotten"
, meaning the TomatoMeter is at "only" 99% (it rounds up to the nearest whole number), and, as is pretty much the pattern when any fanboy favourite film is just a hair away from 100% on the TomatoMeter, preventing it from being the "number one bestest move ever", people pile on the one guy that didn't like it
, in this case, Stephen Whitty of NJ.com
, following the exact same pattern
I observed when poor Brian Matherly of Daily-Reviews.com
was the first TomatoMeter-certified critic not to like Spirited Away
; for some reason completely unrelated to their love of their film, of course, they find something completely "unprofessional" about the review itself, they being the arbiters about what constitutes a "professional" review, with the critic never giving any "solid" reasons why they didn't care so much for the film. In other words, "It's not that he wrote a bad review, it's that the review was poorly written." Yeah, I'd believe that, perhaps, if it didn't happen every fricking time something like this happens, when a much-beloved film gets just one bad review.
I like what Zac Bertschy said in the AnimeNewsNetwork.com forum
defending his not exactly positive Saint Seiya review
(in which Zac said pretty much everything I've ever thought about Saint Seiya
). I think it applies to all the instances of criticism for the "one bad review" of something popular.
"You people like to make up a new definition of what a "good review" is every time one pops up that you don't agree with. I get slammed on this forum nearly every time I write a bad review for something that's popular, and instead of just admitting that you disagree with the review, you sit here and slam my writing abilities and criticize the site and say the review should be taken down and all this other idiotic reactionary bullcrap. I KNOW how to write a review. Yes, the statement above should be phrased slightly differently, but I stand by what I said proudly."
The TomatoMeter overall is a useful tool, but, in cases where it's up in the high 90s but not quite at 100%, it tends to focus attention on the few bad reviews from the people whom take the TomatoMeter reading far too seriously. Also, except for kid's movies, I don't see films getting 100% to be all that much of a good thing, as critics are human beings with different tastes, and, if they ALL like a film, it often means that the film is trying to be all things to all people, aiming at the movie critic version of the "lowest common denominator", going the safe road, not challenging the viewer. I'm praying for a TomatoMeter in the 75-80% range for The Life Aquatic
, which I already know I'm going to love.
(For added bonus fun, look at this AnimeNation.net forum thread
about one critic's bad review of Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven's Door
(a.k.a. Cowboy Bebop: the Movie
), which isn't on the site anymore, wherein they made up stuff *not even in the review* just to bash it, and I debunk the false claims about the review point-by-point
COLLECTIVE LIBERAL GEEK CIRCLE-JERK INDEED!
OMF'ingG! The absolute best commentary I've seen yet about the "Miserable Failure" Google-bomb
. I know it's a spoof site, but I still agree with it... well, this fake article of theirs at least.
WEIRD SEARCH REQUESTS
"charts showing how communists are happier"
Apparently, if you put all that into Google, without quotation marks (or including quotation marks in a day or two when this page is cached) and press "I'm feeling lucky", you get this blog, which isn't bloody likely to post any charts like that... umm... ever. In a weird way, I really like being the "I'm feeling lucky" page for that, since finding this page is about as ironic as finding the page you get if you press "I'm feeling lucky" for "French military victories"
I must say, I really enjoyed the Counterfeit Canada
series of articles in the National Post
(see also here
). Of course, Adrian Humphreys went to a shopping centre in Chinatown in Toronto and found all manner of bootlegged stuff. No shit, Sherlock... I could have easily told him that, anime fans like myself (at least those of us that buy some degree of merchandising) being very knowledgeable in terms of how to spot bootlegs, and rule number one in avoiding bootlegged anime merchandise is "Don't shop in Chinatown." (Actually, that's not entirely fair. One of the CD stores in Montreal's Chinatown has a handful of legit anime soundtracks from Japan, but they are outnumbered ten-to-one by the SonMay (SM Records) and Ever Anime CDs (all Taiwanese bootlegs).) Also, according to Adrian Humphreys, bootleg merchandise has been found in upscale shopping centres like the Centre Eaton in Montreal. Yeah, I thought some of that Pok�mon
stuff in a certain souvenir/sporting memorabilia store looked rather dodgy, at least the stuff with the Chinese lettering in the logo.
For information about how to avoid bootlegged anime stuff, please see the Pirate Anime F.A.Q.
, and I'd also suggest that you'd check out Mike Toole's "Hilarious Bootleg Toy Showcase" columns over at Anime Jump
, but he reformatted his site and he hasn't put those back up yet, so, instead, just enjoy his review of Mad Bull 34
, still the worst anime I have ever seen, "and I've been on Safari".
HEY, THIS GOOGLE-BOMB WORKS TOO!
Well, looks like Conservative and Libertarian bloggers have won one of the Google-bombing campaigns.
Go to Google
, type in "once and future loser"
(with or without quotations), and press "I'm Feeling Lucky".
Why isn't the media reporting on this one?
JUSTIN BERZON'S NEW ARGUMENT
While I personally favour the symbolic value of rebuilding the entire World Trade Center exactly as it was, except strengthened and brought up to modern safety standards with modest memorials at the exact levels on the Twin Towers where the planes hit, I could easily accept Justin Berzon's "Standing Tall" compromise
, which involves the Twin Towers (but not the rest of the complex) being rebuilt, but just to the east of the "footprints" of the original "Twin Towers", for those people whom consider the "footprints" to be "hallowed ground". As such, I've been proud to include "Standing Tall"
in my list of links at the side, or bottom, depending on your browser (not too sure how to fix that, sorry).
Anyhow, over at National Review Online, Deroy Murdock
points out that Berzon has new material on his page, "The Berzon Report"
, that is basically a much more direct attack on the architectural fraud that is Daniel Libeskind's "Freedom Tower", which, if built, will be the world's tallest building, until China build's something bigger, but only technically. While I'm not remotely accusing Berzon of ripping me off, and, frankly, I would love it if he would rip me off since I think my arguments deserve to be presented on a more high-profile site than this, Berzon is now presenting very similar arguments against the Freedom Tower to those I've made myself on this page as far back as March
. The reason I think the Twin Towers were simply the greatest skyscrapers in the world, even if they weren't quite the tallest, was that they had 110 storeys each, with the top floor having essentially the same surface area as the lobby, and the tops weren't even tapered like the Sears Tower
, the Petronas Twin Towers
or the new Taipei 101 building
(still under construction but recently topped). According to the charts and figures Berzon provides, while the official height of the Freedom Tower would be 1776 ft., the height of the useless ornamental spire, which, apparently, may not even be glass enclosed, will be 831 ft., with the roof above the highest occupable floor being at just 945 ft., shorter than the Chrysler Building
, and shorter than even First Canadian Place
in Toronto. That's right, New Yorkers, the actual non-ornamental "building" part of the Freedom Tower, the planned replacement for your mighty World Trade Center, is shorter than even Canada's
tallest office building, and, even as a Canadian, I don't like that fact any more than you do. New York should always have "the biggest" and "the tallest", otherwise it wouldn't be New York.
Berzon provides simulated photos of the skyline impact of the Freedom Tower compared to the skyline impact of the World Trade Center
, how Libeskind's simulated photos exaggerated the heights of the Freedom Tower by hundreds of feet
, and this wonderful chart
Deroy Murdock's description put it best, that the "Freedom Tower" is "a relatively squat building, seemingly balancing an oil derrick on its roof, while masquerading as the world's foremost skyscraper". Also, about the manner in which Libeskind is making this the world's largest building:
"Libeskind's so-called "Freedom Tower" has been touted as eventually Earth's tallest. It would be, in the same sense that any house could become the world's highest by installing a 1,600-foot chimney atop its fireplace."
Oh, wow, that's so much more decent than the analogy I used a couple of months back
, which, for the sake of people coming here from "Being American in T.O."
, I won't repeat. ;)
I'M GLAD I DON'T WATCH TOO MANY MUSIC VIDEOS ANYMORE
(Aside from the kind from a decade or two ago you can buy on DVD, and the occasional techno video on BPM-TV...)
Well, I hadn't seen this one before, but there's this thread on the Celebrity Liberal Whine List board
about a Canadian band called Ohgr
(never heard of 'em) who have a video for their song "Majik"
with an stop-motion animated video (very similar to that Tool video, "Sober"
) wherein, apparently, George W. Bush's head is on a Hitler puppet.
I say "apparently" because the lighting in the video is so inept that I can see that there's a cut-out of a Bush photo bouncing around excitedly on some sort of puppet, but I can not honestly say that I can tell that the puppet is meant to be Hitler. Most of the rest of that video is that way too... the lighting's so bad, it's like playing the darkest levels of Tomb Raider III
without using flares. And I have the brightness turned up all of the way on this monitor too. The second half of the video is mostly just this guy walking down the street with these parodies of corporate logos in the background, so there's probably some subtext there with a Naomi Klein worldview
(The logos are attacking! The logos are attacking! Stop the logos! We need to stop the logos! Stop the logos!), but it's not apparent because it's so dark I can't see much. Possibly, the ending has to do with the character buying sunglasses that reveal the way things are, a la They Live
, but... it's all a fuzz of black, dark grey and dark green, so, really, your guess is as good as mine.
(Of course, natch, this video is housed on a CBC website for the programme ZeD
, so, at the very least, our taxpayer money is going to support the server space and bandwidth for this, and, if I did a pro-Bush music video, I doubt they'd put it on, unless they thought I was being ironic.)
OH WAIT; I HAVE ANOTHER IDEA FOR A GOOGLE-BOMB...
For everyone coming here from either "Being American in T.O."
or the "Miserable-Failure" (anti-Hillary Clinton) blog
, I have another idea for a Google-bomb subverting another one of the Bush-haters' favourite Internet "memes"
, of course, meaning George W. Bush to these people because "We hate teh Bush-family Evil Empire and George W. Bush has all of these facial expressions, so we looked at thousands of teh photos of teh chimpanzees and, sure enough, a few of teh photos match teh Bush facial expressions, ergo George W. Bush is teh smirking chimp
." Except... if you have a large enough database of chimpanzee facial expressions you can match at lease one photo to any facial expression any human does ever, humans being only about one twig removed from chimpanzees on the evolutionary tree, so, really, this is about as "clever" satire as Aaron McGruder devoting almost two months of The Boondocks
to how "Condoleeza Rice needs a man, hyuk hyuk!" and, if that's what passes for liberal satire these days, I'll stick with South Park
thank you very much.
And who loves smirking more at America and ordinary Americans, especially those Republican-voting rubes in "flyover country", than Noam Chomsky
? I mean, the whole point of Manufacturing Consent
, which I've both watched and read, is, in a nutshell, "The mainstream corporate media distorts the truth by filtering out any information which might cast their corporate owners, the capitalist military/industrial complex, the politicians the corporate owners support, or foreign policy in general (especially in regards to the fight against communism or support for Israel) in a bad light." with the obvious implications being that "The mainstream American public is too dumb to figure out if the media is lying to them." and "If the American people knew what I know, woohoo, they'd all be
libertarian." (but not the good kind of libertarian) and, of course, "What we need is taxpayer-funded media to present a diversity of (left-wing) views!" (as though the simple existence of taxpayer-funded media heavily critical of American policy means that people would automatically watch it; the CBC gets terrible ratings compared to CTV or Global for pretty much everything not Hockey Night in Canada
, CFL Football or Anne of Green Gables
Actually, I don't think I'd disagree that television, in general, is about the worst place to get information,but, the fact is, for a lot of people, being "informed" about anything which doesn't directly affect their life is actually an esoteric hobby, being to busy with the sundry details of their day to day lives and reading a newspaper or magazine or a political book or going online to get access to pretty much every point of view that exists is a choice and I don't see the relative lack of certain points of view on television news as being all that much of a problem, TV news, like everything else in a free country, being subject to the whims of the free market (which I'm sure Chomsky would love to remove as a factor in determining what's shown on television) which turns off in large numbers any shows with more radical political points-of-view (on both ends of the spectrum, actually), like with Phil Donahue's MSNBC show, which usually featured left-wing guests of one stripe or another (from what I understand, not being able to watch MSNBC in Canada) and which got a 0.1 in the Nielsen ratings, which is something like 100 000 people at most.
And, as a linguist, Chomsky's worked with chimpanzees, which I think is far more than Bush has ever done with chimps, so the "smirking chimp"
association is much more logical.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Jonathan Mays (Miagi
in the AnimeNewsNetwork.com forum) wanted me to write a little something about Christmas music I enjoy in a thread about Christmas music he started here
, since he knows I have a couple of anime Christmas albums, so I wrote this
South Park: Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics whose songs I find more amusing than the songs from the movie... though a little sad, because Mary Kay Bergman, the original voice of most of the female characters, sang her parts just days before commiting suicide.
The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soundtrack, featuring Burl Ives.
Boney M: The 20 Greatest Christmas Songs
The Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack, which isn't quite a Christmas soundtrack in and of itself, though the film was a Christmas-season-released Oscar hopeful, but, as with Wes Anderson's previous film, Rushmore, it features the vocal version of "Christmas Time is Here" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio from A Charlie Brown Christmas, whose soundtrack I don't have.
Joy to the World - The Music of Christmas by Empire Brass.
I've looked for Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas albums, since I like their Christmas "bumper music" which Rush Limbaugh always plays, me being one of the tiny minority of Canadians who listen to his show, but I just can't find too much of Mannheim Steamroller in Montreal... the one CD I have is The Christmas Angel with a vocal story over the music. I like their version of that Spanish (or is it Mexican) tune "The Fishes in the River". Rush, before he lost his hearing and got the implants (which don't pick up music too well), liked "Patapan", which is a French song we had to sing in elementary school for the radio.
My first anime Christmas album, and the one I like best overall, is... and I bet you didn't see this one coming... the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Oh Ki Christmas Album, which has my favourite Tenchi Muyo "image" song, "Koi Wa Sessho ya Omahen ka!", performed by Yumi Takada as a drunken Princess Ayeka. I also like Chisa Yokoyama as Sasami singing the Japanese version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". And, the drama tracks are about the easiest to follow for any of the Japanese Tenchi albums due to all the atmospheric sound effects used.
I also have the second Sailor Moon Christmas album (that's right, there were two of them), and, what's notable about this one is that every one of the western Christmas songs from the Tenchi album, except for "Sleigh Ride", which was just instrumental, is on this one, sometimes with the same lyrics, like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", other times with different lyrics, as with an alternate Japanese version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", here sung by Rika Fukami as Minako Aino (Venus). What some people know this album for is a version of "When the Saints Come Marching In" performed by Kotono Mitsuishi as Usagi Tsukino (Moon), with one of the verses sung hideously in English. Emi Shinohara sings a pleasant Japanese version of Mel Torm�'s "Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"). My favorite tracks on that album are sung by Michie Tomizawa as Rei Hino (Mars)... a jazzy version of the Japanese version of "When You Wish Upon a Star", which is, of course, from the Disney Pinocchio film and has nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas but nevermind, and a cover of WHAM!/George Michael's "Last Christmas" sung in English... which is... umm... interesting. "Tell me baby/Do you lecognize me? Well, it's been a year, it doesn't supplies me!" (Yes, honestly, it sounds like she says "Supplies" instead of "Suprise", which is, of course, very, very wrong to find amusing. Even if you remember the "Supplies" closet joke in U.H.F..)
The other anime Christmas CD I have is the Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoeda Elementary school Chorus Christmas Concert, which is presented as a Christmas concert done for the radio, exactly like we did at Edgewater elementary school in the 1980s, complete with the noise of the crowd noise dying down and the chimes indicating the start and finish of the concert. The appropriately-named Sakura Tange as Sakura Kinomoto doesn't appear on this album at all, so the concert features Junko Iwao as Tomoyo Daidouji as well as, as far as I can tell, a lot of actual children doing the singing. Most of the seven songs in this mini-album were either written for this album or are Japanese-language Christmas (or maybe just festive) songs, with the only western song being a Japanese-language version of Handel's "Joy to the World".
I made a mix-album of much of the above, bookended by "Last Christmas" as sung by Rei Hino and the original version sung by George Michael (from WHAM's Music from the Edge of Heaven CD).
THE MIDDLE EAST NEEDS AN ENEMA UPDATE
(Hmm... been a long time since I last did one of these...)
Really, I don't honestly have all that much original to say about Sunday's big, big, BIG news
other than that I was honestly surprised to find out that Saddam Hussein was still alive. I had thought that, if the huge "bunker buster" bomb right after the "kick-off" on the evening of Saint Patrick's Day (though, technically, it would have been March 18th already in Iraq) didn't get him, the bomb they dropped on that restaurant in April did, and that everything we'd heard from Saddam since then was faked. I guess I'm only "one for two" in thinking certain "little seen" (recently) key figures in the whole Middle East war are little seen because they're dead. I'm still about 99% confident in Mark Steyn's assertment in the National Post
many months ago (well, when he was still writing for the Post
) that Osama Bin Laden is more like "Osama Been Laden", and that he has been a red stain on a cave wall in Tora Bora since, approximately, November or December 2001 and all the tapes we've heard from "Osama" since then have been "fake, fake, fake, fake" as Elaine Benes would put it.
This news is so big that National Review Online
put up new articles on a Sunday, which they never do, instead of just covering it in "The Corner"
. As always, when it comes to writing about the Middle East, Amir Taheri
is second to none at NRO.
Instapundit Glenn Reynolds
links to blogs whom discuss the reaction to Saddam's capture amongst antiwar blogs: "Considerette"'s list
and Glen Halpern's "Hippercritical"'s list
, and Halpern, in turn, links to "Blogs for Bush"'s list of pro-war blogger's coverage
, and N.Z. Bear's list of the same
Then, I wanted to see what Indymedia
was saying about Saddam's capture (and get the latest lefty tinfoil hat conspiracy theories), but, aww, shucks, the Global Indymedia site isn't being updated this weekend since they're switching servers (because the one in Seattle went under, ha ha). I bet the popular conspiracy theory this week shall be that the "Bush Family Evil Empire" planned the capture for today just because Indymedia was down, since good old "Nazimedia"
is just that influential. Well, it is influential... among the sort of people whom believe tinfoil hat conspiracy theories about Bush, Haliburton, and Israel (and love Saddam).
Finally, you know the surest sign that capturing Saddam was a good thing is if Palestinians oppose it
, primarily because of Saddam's $25 000 payouts to the families of each homicidal 'splodeydope, as Sari Stein
notes. (I like the photo of the crying baby which Little Green Footballs
uses to illustrate Palestinian sentiment.)
Of course, when Saddam reveals, as he likely will, that he had little to no prior knowledge of 9/11, I'm sure the "hate Bush" crowd will will use that as evidence to declare the whole Iraq phase of the war on terror as being wrongfully-minded, except the war on terror isn't a "9/11 Revenge" war, knocking off the bad guys who were directly involved in the planning, it's a war to take out all the bad guys
except Arafat... and Mugabe, for that matter
before they can strike they can strike America and its allies again, because, even if Al Queda wanted little to do with Hussein, Iraq being a bit too secular, relatively speaking, for their tastes, I have no doubts Saddam was cozy-cozy with other such groups. (The PLO for one, also relatively secular fellow travellers.) That's the sort of thing we'll be finding out. So, I hope they don't execute Saddam. Let him write his memoirs... then you'll see thousands of weasels scurrying for cover.
NO, I DON'T HAVE A GOOD REASON TO POST THIS LINK, I JUST WANT MORE GOOGLE HITS...
Hmm... here's a little something for those of you FLCL
fanboys whom still haven't gotten over the "Julie McBride-Wyatt" thing. (And I still get Google hits wondering about "Julie McBride-Wyatt", see here
for my reactions... c'mon, that was 4 months ago now. Get over it!) For those of you that don't want to read anything "adult", please copy and paste the following phrase and hit "Find" and "Find Again": Palabra Jot
People under 18, please don't look at these links...
Yes, I've actually found three whole FLCL
doujinshi on the web on my favourite doujin site, and, yes, it includes both straight sex and yuri (lesbian, girl on girl action). Click here
and scroll down past the sex ads. The Links marked "Oh! Big Sexy", "Oh! Oh! Big Sexy" and "Oh! Oh! Oh! Big Sexy" are the ones which are safe to click on, though you have to scroll down a little on each individual page too.
Also, I found a really, really good Paris Hilton
site, with all the Paris Hilton
pictures you could possibly want. ;-) Why there's even a page on that site devoted just to "eating out"
, if you catch my drift?
(Okay, that was a cruel joke... but I could believe that someone might think that I don't know about Paris Hilton much more easily than I can believe that Paris Hilton has never heard of Wal-Mart. C'mon... The Simple Life
is so obviously scripted.)
IT'S ALL ABOUT ME-OW! (GARFIELD MOVIE UPDATE)
The first trailer for the Garfield movie
I don't think live-action Garfield looks at all bad in motion... maybe he looks a tad like a "stuffed toy" and not either like a real cat or like the comic strip/cartoon version of Garfield, but at least he's not the live-action version of Luna from Sailor Moon
with the much-too-shiny fur. Also, Garfield purists might object to seeing Garfield's mouth move when he "talks", whilst the comic strip and cartoon versions of Garfield only "thought out loud"... I don't know. "Thinking out loud" could be one of those comic strip/cartoon animal concepts that doesn't quite translate well to the big screen.
Also, I don't have any problem with the fact that they used a real dog for Odie and didn't try emulating the way the comic strip Odie looks. For anyone that complains... umm... most comic strip dogs don't look anything like any real breeds. Snoopy doesn't look much at all like a real beagle. As far as I can remember, Odie (who was, trivia buffs, originally Lyman'sdog in the strip) isn't even meant to be a real breed.
And Jennifer Love Hewitt looks to be just fine as Liz the vet... I don't really have an opinion one way or the other as to whether or not she's that great an actress in general, but the source material ain't exactly Hamlet
, and she seemed very Liz-like in the clips in the trailers.
My only disappointment with the trailer is that we didn't get to see any of Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle. And that they used "That Good Old Time Rock n' Roll", one of my least favourite songs in the world (okay, it's not as bad as John Lennon's two dirges "Imagine" and "Happy Christmas (War is Over)", but, still...), though I guess it's just to spoof Risky Business
in order to give the film a whiff of 80s nostalgia, since anyone whom would pay to see a movie about Garfield probably is into the 1980s at least a little.
Also, the exterior of Jon's house looks a little more garish than I would have imagined, almost as though Jon painted it himself. I thought Jon was supposed to live in a fairly bland-looking, typical suburban house. Maybe the garishness of the outside has something to do with the plot...
I wrote this in the RottenTomatoes.com forum
about hearing Bill Murray as Garfield for the first time.
For people whom don't think Bill Murray sounds all that much like "Garfield", by which they mean the late Lorenzo Music, I don't think Murray's trying to do a Lorenzo Music impression. Music was always a perfect match for Murray because he had the right level of sarcasm and cynicism in his normal speaking voice, just like Murray, which is why it was just natural for Lorenzo Music to do the voice of Peter Venkman on the Real Ghostbusters, because, even if Music didn't sound exactly like Murray, his voice had exactly the right attitude for the Venkman role. (Then, in the third season, Lorenzo Music was replaced as the voice of Venkman by Dave Coulier... yes, "Uncle Joey" from Full House, one of a myriad of reasons why Real Ghostbusters "jumped the shark" with the third season.)
So, by the same token, since, unfortunately, Lorenzo Music is no longer around to do the voice of Garfield (he died of cancer in August 2001), it's only natural that Bill Murray fill-in, since the attitude in his natural speaking voice is suited to the character. I mean, assuming you couldn't stop this film getting made, would you rather have had Dave Coulier do the voice of the character? (Not that I have anything personal against Dave Coulier, just his voice is too happy to be sardonic.)"